While our new chief minister has started cleaning his stable, one would like him to set an example by foregoing his discretionary powers in land allotment. As for town planning, sadly, Mumbai has barely had any.
It is a megalopolis that has grown piecemeal. At least now, a proper urban plan needs to be drafted on the lines of Chandigarh’s and that of our own Navi Mumbai, to save what we can of the city, which is crying out for planning.
Dr V Subramanyan
At least clear out the slums
There is no shortage of ideas or plans for our city, but there is lack of decent politicians and an abundance of corruption that crush any attempts at reform.
It’s not like our government, the BMC and our bureaucrats don’t already know what need to be done. They just don’t do it. At the very least, one hopes to see the removal of slums and decent housing developments among the new norms.
Cut netas out of land allotment
No town planning norms, schemes or acts can help save the ever-decreasing green lungs of Mumbai when land sharks are allowed to masquerade as builders and developers, grabbing open spaces and government plots by our willing and corrupt bureaucrats and politicians.
What the city needs is a separate body with quasi-judicial powers to deal with encroachers of any kind.
The body should be allotted security forces to help it secure and safeguard land. Only then will we have judicious allotment and logical town planning.
One window for all land transactions
The first thing the state government should do when it draws up its new land allotment and town planning norms is to facilitate single-window clearance for all building proposals.
With several statutory agencies involved in giving clearances, one arm of the government is often unaware of what the other arms are doing.
This causes unwarranted delays and makes it impossible to keep track of discrepancies and illegalities.
So many skywalks, and for whom?
Skywalks have swallowed up our open spaces.
The government has wasted money building these pedestrian bridges and not many people are using them. Instead, they have turned into messy shelters for the homeless.
The problem with our country’s government is that they lack basic infrastructure plans. Did they even consider that children, pregnant women and senior citizens would find it impossible to clamber up all those stairs? Instead, they have given each skywalk a different colour, as if they were meant to be some sort of fashion statement.
The state government should draw up new land allotment and town planning norms, and plan intelligently, setting aside the corruption that has become so inherent to our system.
Pretty Kt Mirchandani