BMC says it won't budge on open spaces and SRA

Defending its stance on the draft DP, the BMC contested all criticism in a press conference on Friday. However, civic officials have categorically said they will not reconsider decisions like construction on open space, or slum rehabilitation since that is the need of the hour.

Officer on Special Duty (DP revision) Ramnath Jha made a presentation chaired by municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta. According to the presentation, the city's environmental areas are a whopping 46%. These include natural areas, public open spaces and coastal regulatory zones. On the other hand, the 'living area' comes second at 22%.

"The truth is, the BMC cannot buy land to convert it into open space. So, the only option is to encourage private players to give up plots for open space or to unlock new parcels of land. We have done both in this DP," Jha said.

Jha also confessed that their target of constructing one million households in the next 20 years will not be completed through NDZ alone. It will require development to happen through SRA, cessed redevelopment, MHADA as well as the open market.

When asked if the civic body will reconsider its decision to allow redevelopment of slums on open spaces, Jha said that the provision has been brought in on request of SRA.

"These are SRA norms that have been retained. And also, slums have open space needs too."

He also defended the stance of allowing 30% construction on open space saying that only then would private players come forward to let go of their land.

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