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Battle to save city’s open spaces set to get tougher

Trusts could be allowed to continue encroaching on plots.

mumbai Updated: Apr 06, 2012 02:51 IST
Kunal Purohit
Kunal Purohit
Hindustan Times

Your battle to save Mumbai’s open spaces may soon be dealt a huge blow. It is learnt that the civic improvements committee, which is currently deciding the fate of the new open spaces policy, is all set to recommend that trusts which have encroached upon plots under the old caretaker policy be allowed to continue to operate.

If this recommendation is accepted, the city’s chances of getting back large plots of land from these trusts are next to nil. Many of these trusts had captured reserved plots citing lack of regulations governing their development.

Insiders said this move is likely to have been motivated by the fact that at least six such plots are controlled by politicians, most of them from the Shiv Sena-BJP, which controls the BMC.

The proposed policy, cleared by civic chief Subodh Kumar last June, had said the BMC would take back plots controlled by these private trusts and fresh bids would be invited under the new system.

In a bid to justify the move, BJP corporator and chairman of the improvements committee, Dr Ram Barot said: “These private trusts have, for years now, been in charge of the maintenance and upkeep of these plots, and have spent considerably on them. Hence, it’s unfair to take these plots back from them. The BMC should either let these trusts continue to manage these plots, or they should be given preference, in case they wish to bid again.”

First Published: Apr 06, 2012 02:50 IST