MUMBAI: Mumbai's new Development Plan will be delayed by two more years. The draft DP was to be presented by April 2015, but it has been now pushed to 2017.
The legislative assembly on Wednesday night approved an amendment to the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, 1966, granting a two-year extension for preparation, submission and sanction to the DP. An ordinance was issued in July this year.
In 2011, the state government had amended the Act, setting a time limit of three-and-a-half to four years for the preparation of DPs by various local self-government bodies. Earlier, there was no such time limit. However, the BMC administration, which is the planning authority for Mumbai, informed the government that the city with a population of 12.4 million (census 2011) had its own unique and complex problems. Hence, it was experiencing time constraints in preparing the DP and submitting it for sanction.
Taking note of the BMC's plea, the state government decided to amend the MRTP Act, allowing an extension of two years in case of a municipal corporation having population of 1 crore or more as per the latest census figures; one year in case of a municipal corporation having population of 10 lakh or more but less than a crore and six months in any other case.
The new amendment has also set a time limit of 30 days for the government to invite objections and suggestions for the modifications proposed to the draft DP and that it must approve or reject the draft DP within a year for corporations with population above 10 lakh and six months for the others.
BJP MLA from Bandra (W) Ashish Shelar said it provided the BMC with an opportunity to better design the DP given the fact that there are 1,070 land litigations pending in court and there are over 300 committee reports to be implemented.
The BMC has held workshops with various stakeholders while preparing the draft for the DP. This is the first time that the BMC has undertaken such an exercise.
Architect P K Das said, "It is disappointing to postpone the changes that are essential to carry forward the city's development. I appreciate the government's desire to interact on the DP. For this, a 6-month period is sufficient. For now, we will have a backward looking plan with a forward looking government."