The controversial Development Plan (DP) 2034 for Mumbai, drafted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), has been scrapped by the state government, which has asked the BMC to correct mistakes in the draft and prepare a new version within four months.

The DP has faced heavy criticism for its proposal to increase FSI to 8, and also to open up no-development zones to commercial real estate developers. File pic for representation
The DP has faced heavy criticism for its proposal to increase FSI to 8, and also to open up no-development zones to commercial real estate developers. File pic for representation

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis made this announcement yesterday after the matter was discussed in the Cabinet meeting. He had said in the state legislature recently that the plan would be scrapped and prepared afresh, if found irregular.

Fadnavis had appointed a panel under Swadheen Kshatriya, state chief secretary, which submitted its report to the Cabinet yesterday. “The state has decided to direct BMC to take into consideration the suggestions and objections by citizens, and make a new DP in next four months,” the CM told mediapersons.

He said the new draft would also be published to seek suggestions and objections from the citizens. The previous DP was adopted in 1991 it is currently in force now, till the draft DP, which now has to be revised, is passed.

Fadnavis said in order to ensure that there is no misuse of the existing DP (1991) in the four months till the new draft is prepared, the more stringent of the two plans the current and the draft would apply for development work.

Under fire
The draft DP has been at the receiving end of the ire of activists and citizens over several of its proposed plans. Many had questioned the proposal to grant more floor space index (FSI), opening of no-development zones for constructions and the philosophy that more FSI would create more affordable housing in the city. The 20-year DP (till 2034) had proposed increasing the FSI to a maximum of 8.

Releasing the city’s green spaces for development had also caused widespread outrage. Moreover, the plan had excluded heritage precincts in many areas, completely excluded tribals staying in Aarey Milk Colony while identifying the green patch as a potential development zone, and had also left out many areas in the city governed by other special planning authorities like the Slum Redevelopment Authority (SRA) and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

Despite the public outcry, the BMC authorities had continued to defend the plan. Chief secretary Swadheen Kshatriya’s panel had placed its interim report before the government on April 10, in which it had said that the DP had “enormous mistakes.”

Instead of recommending an extension of the 60-day period for sending in suggestions and objections, the panel advised the government to scrap the DP altogether and prepare it afresh by accommodating the view of the Mumbaikars. The civic body had spent over R5 crore on the plan, including the consultant’s fees and other costs.