The question being asked now is who is responsible for the errors in the draft development plan (DP): the civic body or the consultant.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) gave the consultant, Groupe SCE consortium, two extensions to prepare the draft DP, which was scraped by the government on Tuesday.
A senior official from the DP department, who was part of the revision team, said, “There was no synchronisation between three important sections — the DP department, the revision team and the building proposal department. The poor coordination hurt us badly, as no one shared information about ongoing developments with the revision team.”
Most of the survey and the satellite imaging were done in 2012-2013, when several redevelopment projects were underway. As the maps showed many of these spots as vacant, the revision team ended up marking them as open areas.
“Ideally, the building proposal and DP department should have provided a list of ongoing redevelopment projects so the revision team could have marked the amenities. This would have reduced errors,” said the official.
Officials also blamed the consultant. “The consultant barely did any work for more than a year. After realising how this would further delay the DP, the civic body formed a 16-member team of engineers from the DP department to help them,” said a source from the DP department.
The city’s blueprint should have been ready by December 2013, but the consultant was given an extension till mid-2014. After they missed the second deadline, the civic body gave them more time, till April 2015. This also resulted in increase in cost from Rs5.5 crore to Rs12.5 crore.
According to officials, the DP revision team had too much on its plate by the time it got the draft DP.
As there was a two-year delay by the consultant, the BMC had a little over a year to complete the survey and mapping. “Because of the deadline, there were times when engineers were asked to do survey of a complete ward in one day,” said another official from the DP department. “This led to errors. In some cases, the officials did not to go to the spot and were dependent on satellite imaging,” he added.
While R Balchandran, chief engineer, DP department, did not comment on the issue, Champaka Rajgopal from Groupe SCE India Private Limited (now EGIS), was not available.