Mumbai: Go green with terrace gardens

The civic body is likely to introduce this in its draft Development Plan; former mayor Shubha Raul had spearheaded the mission to make Mumbai greener

Former mayor Shubha Raul’s mission to turn Mumbai greener might get the green light this year — the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is contemplating adding a provision to allow terrace gardens in the draft Development Plan (DP). On February 8, Raul had written a letter to the BMC’s Tree Authority, suggesting that all city buildings should have terrace gardens.

Ex-mayor Shubha Raul had asked BMC to consider introducing terrace gardens
Ex-mayor Shubha Raul had asked BMC to consider introducing terrace gardens

The BMC is in the process of preparing a draft development plan (DP), in which the provision of terrace gardens gets a mention. This will be part of the Development Control Regulations (DCR), 2034. By the end of this month, the DP will be released and open to public suggestions and objections. By year end, terrace gardens may begin to mushroom.

“The provision will be applicable to people who are willing to do it. Developers must ensure that newly-constructed buildings have terrace gardens. Existing housing societies and people who have bungalows, and municipal and government properties can also have such green terraces. They will be legally allowed to do so [if the DP is cleared],” said a senior official working on the DP.

The erroneous DP
The DP released last year received a lot of flak for allowing helipads on rooftops. The backlash was so fierce that then municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte had to lose his chair. His successor, Ajoy Mehta, appointed IAS officer Ramanath Jha on special duty to revise the DP. Jha and Mehta recently presented key highlights of the DP.

A push in the right direction
In her letter to the BMC’s Tree Authority, former mayor Shubha Raul said, “Considering the city’s growing population, cutting of trees, increased pollution levels and rising number of highrises, it is necessary to implement the concept of terrace gardens. The concept needs to be implemented on compulsory open spaces after every seventh floor in the building. This will not only increase greenery, but will also be friendly towards the life cycle of small birds, butterflies, bees etc. The terrace gardens can have aromatic as well as medicinal plants that give out a lot of oxygen. The BMC should take the help of experts in the matter.”

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