A New BMC Study On Mumbai’s Land Use Has Major Mistakes
A study on existing land use in Mumbai commissioned by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as a guide for the preparation of the new Development Plan (DP) has been found to have astonishing errors. The Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI), which compared the report to satellite images and the 1991 DP that’s currently in use, found that plots that have been marked as no development zones in the DP, are shown as residential and industrial plots. For instance, the J. J. Institute of Applied Arts, which is in the J. J. School of Arts campus, has been shown to stand on a plot marked for commercial, not educational, use.
Worryingly, the study claims that Mumbai has 1,229 hectares of open space. In contrast, a UDRI survey carried out in 2007 found that the city has 2,318 hectares of open space. The study also says that mangroves are spread over 3,838 hectares and that the city has 366 hectares of mudflats. These figures contradict the Maharashtra Wetlands Atlas, prepared by the Union Environment Ministry in 2009, which calculated that Mumbai has 5,716 hectares of mangroves and 1,812 hectares of mudflats. In all, the study differs from the DP on 1,200 counts.
It seems incredible that in the space of a few years, Mumbai would have lost such a large chunk of its open spaces and natural habitat. Is the study simply a shoddy piece of work? Or worse, have these changes been deliberately made? The DP determines the city’s built environment for 20 years. So if a patch of mangroves exists on land but not in the plan, it would be easy for an unscrupulous builder to clear it to construct buildings.
BMC study lists big changes in city’s land use [Hindustan Times]Tags: BMC, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Civic Issues, Development Plan, Existing land use survey, UDRI, Urban Design Research Institute