Experts sceptical over implementation of Navi Mumbai’s new Development Plan

Published on Aug 12, 2022 09:28 PM IST

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation has published its very first proposed 250 pages Development Plan for the city; its implementation will incur an expenditure of ₹10,589Cr wherein the mere cost of acquisition of the plots is projected at ₹1,764Cr; prior to this, Navi Mumbai’s development was done as per the plans determined by CIDCO; early observations made by senior planners and developers paint a sceptical picture of the DP getting implemented

Experts sceptical over implementation of Navi Mumbai’s new Development Plan. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Experts sceptical over implementation of Navi Mumbai’s new Development Plan. (HT FILE PHOTO)
BySameera Kapoor Munshi, Navi Mumbai

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has published its very first proposed 250 pages Development Plan (DP) for the city. Its implementation will incur an expenditure of 10,589Cr wherein the mere cost of acquisition of the plots is projected at 1,764Cr.

Prior to this, Navi Mumbai’s development was done as per the plans determined by CIDCO. Early observations made by senior planners and developers paint a sceptical picture of the DP getting implemented.

The DP prepared by CIDCO was sanctioned by the State Government on March 1, 1980. The new DP by NMMC is to address the amenities and utilities required up to 2038 wherein population of the city is projected to increase from 15 lakh in the 2018 census to 28 lakh.

“The proposed DP is planned keeping in mind the immense development potential Navi Mumbai has. The plan is realistic,” said NMMC chief, Abhijit Bangar.

As per the proposed DP, between 1992 and 2018, 621 plots were transferred by CIDCO, of which NMMC developed 411 plots. For further development as foreseen, NMMC has documented 924 plots, demand pending with CIDCO.

“It is highly unlikely that CIDCO will transfer these many plots to NMMC for providing public utilities. There is bound to be conflict of interest to be raised with this DP. Considering that CIDCO remains the owner of the land, for the DP to work, the long-pending proposal for making Navi Mumbai freehold land will have to be revived to cease the duality of ownership currently seen between NMMC and CIDCO,” said Haresh Cheddha, builder and president of CREDAI Builder Association Navi Mumbai.

The duality arising due to the proposed DP is voiced even by residents rallying against the sale of CRZ plot in Nerul. The plot area measuring 25,000sqm that CIDCO has kept for sale for residential and commercial buildings has been found to be demarcated as public utility in the proposed DP.

“The plot 2A in Seawoods Sectors 54, 56 and 58 falling under CRZ 1 and 2, is marked as a playground in the DP but CIDCO, for long, is working towards getting it auctioned. This raises questions on CIDCO’s interference when NMMC is the planning authority,” said activist BN Kumar.

Questions are also being raised about the 226 modifications and inclusion of 16 suggestions made by the general body when the draft DP was brought for discussion in 2019. “In the absence of elected representatives, the release of the DP is untimely because there were a lot of modifications sought when the proposal was presented before the general body,” Divya Vaibhav Gaikwad, former Vashi corporator, said.

Some crucial development work proposed includes an increase in the housing accommodations, widening of roads less than nine metres so that the redevelopment work of dilapidated buildings can be undertaken at the earliest and to address the issue of traffic congestion seen on every primary road of the city. The absence of organised space for hawkers, inadequate parking space and even playgrounds are the arenas the administration has shown to work.

NMMC has shown to single-handedly undertake the development work of the coastal road from CBD Belapur to Thane. Planners have questioned the administration’s failure to look into the commercial development of the city in the wake of the business boom expected with the Navi Mumbai International Airport.

Addressing the concerns raised by activists and residents about CIDCO and NMMC’s ownership duality until the new DP comes into action, NMMC town planning officer, Somnath Kekan, said that the land use fixed by the planning authority stands. “Until the DP gets sanctioned by UDD, even then Section 46 of MRTP Act is applied, wherein due regard has to be given to the draft Development Plan,” he said.

CIDCO said that it would not comment on the new DP and wait for the decision from the Urban Development Department.

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Monday, September 26, 2022
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