Tuesday, 17 May 2016

BMC jumps gun, plans roads in no-devpt zones

Do Not Touch Sensitive Areas, Say Activists

Even as a controversy has been hotting up over BMC's proposal to use No-Development Zones (NDZ) for affordable housing, city planners said the civic body has already marked roads and other amenities for these zones.

The BMC, which is in the final stage of drafting the Development Control Regulations (DCR) 2034 for the Development Plan (DP), has said that the area which it has proposed to open up for affordable housing has been well planned. An FSI of 4 has been proposed for affordable housing in the DP -a provision which had not been made in the earlier DP . The planners say that they have been very careful, especially as they do not want those living in the affordable homes to be deprived of municipal services or any other amenities.

In the DP 2034, the BMC has proposed to create 1 million affordable homes over the next 20 years on NDZ, Tourism Development Area (TDA), salt pan, Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) and Mhada plots.

According to the DP 1991, there were 13,706.32 hectares of NDZ land, of which 10,351.59 hectares are transferred to `natural areas' which planners said is ecologically sensitive land and will not be touched.

Of the remaining 3,354.73 hecatres NDZ land, 658.35 hectares includes existing gaothans, slums, industries and ro ads. Of the balance 2,696.38 hectares of NDZ land, 2,100 hectares are proposed for affordable housing on which the civic body has marked amenities and roads.

Chembur resident Rajkumar Sharma said it suits BMC well to propose NDZ land for affordable housing. “BMC knew well that proposing such land parcels for anything other than affordable housing would mean a lot more resistance.BMC needs to know it is play ing with nature by doing this and there is no coming back once we use these areas for construction. Sad that while we're reviewing an open space policy and taking back plots from private parties, we're using no development zones and salt plans for construction.“

Activist Shyama Kulkarni from Bandra questioned the need to mark municipal roads.“Why are they using NDZ and salt pan land? It will only burden the existing infrastructure.“

Credit : Richa Pinto