First the good news — the Mumbai Development Plan (DP) for 2034 speaks about creating 1 million affordable houses and 8 million jobs in the city. The DP envisages creating theatres, museums, parks, playgrounds, theme gardens, old age homes and shelters for the homeless.
Now the bad news — all this may remain on paper as BMC’s development plans have had a very dismal record of completion. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner Ajoy Mehta himself admitted on Wednesday that only 20% of what the 1991 Development Plan had envisaged could be achieved. In plain terms, all the talk of creating 1 million affordable homes and 8 million jobs is likely to remain on paper because execution has been poor.
The Development Plan for 2034 talks of utilising salt pan lands for affordable housing. According to the plan, out of the 3,355 hectares in no-development zone, BMC has earmarked 2,100 hectares as well as 330 hectares of salt pan land for affordable housing. The plan coul d prove controversial as activists and environmental activists claim the city could become prone to flooding because the salt pan lands act as natural sieves that hold water during monsoon.
To create more jobs, the DP has given incentives for commercial structures to have extra floorspace index (FSI). Residential buildings will also be given extra FSI subject to road width. Data centres have been allowed a height of 6 metres to encourage setting up of more such centres