Facing all round flak, Devendra Fadnavis govt drops Mumbai Development Plan

By: | Updated: April 21, 2015 9:12 PM

Devendra Fadnavis government today scrapped the controversial Mumbai Development Plan that could have shrunk the city's open spaces...

Mumbai, Mumbai development plan, Mumbai Development Plan 2034, Bharatiya janata Party, Devendra Fadnavis, Shiv Sena, Mumbai Floor Space Index, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Congress, NCP, Economy news, Nation newsThe decision to shelve the Development Plan 2034 was taken at a meeting of the state Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to prepare a fresh plan within four months. (Reuters)

Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government today scrapped the controversial Mumbai Development Plan that could have shrunk the city’s open spaces and led to increased congestion, in the face of stiff opposition from political parties and social activists.

The decision to shelve the Development Plan 2034 was taken at a meeting of the state Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to prepare a fresh plan within four months.

The government was facing criticism from various quarters over the alleged flaws in the plan with activists saying it was prepared disregarding concerns about the heritage structures in south Mumbai.

The DP had proposed a considerable hike in Floor Space Index (FSI), ratio of a building’s total floor area to the size of the piece of land upon which it is built, and also opened up the so far protected south Mumbai for utilisation of transfer of development rights (TDR) as floating FSI.

This would have meant more construction activity in the area.

The overall increase in bulk FSI was linked to proximity to mass transit modes but not indexed to provision of physical and social infrastructure. Activists had claimed it would increase congestion in already crowded areas like Andheri and Dadar. Some activists alleged it was intended to benefit the builders lobby.

They also contended that reduction in open space requirement to 10 per cent from 15 per cent also went against earlier Supreme Court rulings on open spaces.

Though higher FSI would have, to some extent, addressed the city’s rapidly growing housing needs, annual hikes in ready reckoner rates and costlier TDR could have increased costs for developers.

Fadnavis had constituted a three-member committee headed by state’S Chief Secretary Swadhin Kshatriya to examine flaws in the contentious Plan.

The Chief Minister, while announcing the Cabinet decision said there were two options before the committee — either to recommend two months’ extension for inviting suggestions and objections to the existing plan or ask the civic body for a fresh DP.

“The DP, in its present form, was not acceptable due to the mistakes that were seen in it,” he said.

The cabinet had zeroed in on the second option as suggested by the panel and decided to scrap the draft DP 2034, asking the civic body to draft a new one, Fadnavis said.

“The cabinet has decided to accept the recommendation of the committee to ask the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) to prepare a fresh DP in four months by rectifying all mistakes in the present one and republish it in four months. After the DP is prepared, BMC has also been directed to seek suggestions and objections,” he said.

The BJP-led government had faced crititicism from ally Shiv Sena and opposition Congress over the provisions in the Development Plan.

Residents, NGOs and town planners had alleged that the errors in the DP were a result of “lack of knowledge” on the part of the civic officials.
Cine stars like Aamir Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Javed Akhtar had criticised the DP and had called for a dialogue between the government and people to plan a vision for the city’s development. Aamir was critical of a metro car shed proposed in the city’s green-belt Aarey Colony.

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