If you thought criticism by Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis implies the controversial Development Plan (DP) for Mumbai will be scrapped, you are mistaken. The key to ensure the plan goes through a major overhaul is filing objections, as the CM’s remark is just an observation and not a decision, claim experts and citizen groups.
On Friday, Fadnavis admitted to the mistakes in the DP and gave a 15-day extension to the special panel to study the errors in the DP. Fadnavis said he would not hesitate to scrap the DP, if it has errors.
The statement has confused the citizens, who were actively engaged in spotting errors in the maps, on what their plan of action should be, leading to a dip in their interest level. This will, in effect, lead to fewer objections being filed,
thus reducing the pressure on the CM to make changes to the DP.
“Many have started believing the DP will be scrapped. We have been getting calls from people who felt the CM’s statement means a decision has been taken. So they have stopped writing to the BMC, to protest against the DP,” said Pankaj Joshi, executive director, Urban Design Research Institute.
According to Fadnavis, the three-member panel that he appointed was to submit their report by April 25. However, April 24 is the last date for citizens to submit their suggestions and objections. So there is no lack of clarity over whether citizens will get extra time to study the plan, said citizens.
“We have been clear that the authorities need to extend the deadline to get our feedback, if they want a studied response from us. Studying the maps and checking them for inaccuracies is tough. Unless we get an extension, most citizens will not be able to submit their responses in 60 days,” said Vidya Vaidya, trustee, General Arun Kumar Vaidya citizen association.