Bid to make BMC devp plan more transparent
- Bid to make BMC devp plan more transparent........Stuti ShuklaTo make the citys third Development Plan more transparent and inclusive, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will invite suggestions and objections from citizens during the two-year long process of the formation of the plan to be implemented between 2014 and 2034.After facing repeated criticism from urban planners and architects on the closed nature of drafting of the development plan, the BMC has decided to include citizens, NGOs and representatives of the citizens like corporators in the formation of the plan. It will also upload the plan on the BMCs website.The citys development plan, based on the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, is a significant document that proposes development activities, required land use patterns and FSI norms in different parts of the city for over a period of 20 years. The BMC has shortlisted six international and national urban planning firms out of which one consultant will be appointed to prepare the third revised draft DP.The consultant will hold workshops at regular intervals for concerned departments from the BMC, public organisations, NGOs and concerned citizens for their objections and suggestions. Before the submission of the final report for publication, a presentation on the same will be made to all corporators of the BMC. Discussions between the general public, the consultants and the BMC will be facilitated during these workshops, chief engineer of DP, Ashok Shintre said. Corporators from the civic standing committee had earlier opposed the move to appoint foreign firms reasoning their limited knowledge about existing conditions and requirements of the city.Urban planners, activists and architects have welcomed the move. Pankaj Joshi, planning architect in the Urban Development Research Institute said that public awareness about the DP is as important as voting. Voting effects our life for five years whereas the DP affects what will happen in the city for 20 years. Sadly few citizens know of this massive exercise. The BMCs move will lend transparency to the exercise only if it implements it, Joshi said.The first development plan was sanctioned in 1964 but was implemented from 1967 to 77. The second revised DP which is in effect was sanctioned thirteen years later and implemented between 1991 and 2011. Urban planners and activists have pointed out the exclusion of citizens in the formulation of the DP. The BMC is currently in the process of revising the DP which will be implemented from 2014 to 2034.In addition, the appointed consultant will also create a website that will be linked to the BMCs web portal that will provide information about the progress of the work. Intermediate reports and working papers of the development plan as cleared by the BMC will be uploaded on the website. The visitor will also have the option of recording his views on the site. A summary of such feedback from citizens will be periodically reported to the BMC. A planning committee will hear suggestions and objections and propose modifications accordingly.