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Sunday, 25 January 2015

NGO launches handbook to ‘equip’ corporators on 2014-34 city plan

With an intention to equip all the stakeholders involved in the process of preparing for the upcoming 2014-34 development plan (DP), city-based NGO Praja Foundation and the Urban Development Research Institute (UDRI) launched “Planning for Mumbai”, a handbook to “de-mystify sector-wise details and principles” of the DP, Wednesday.

The handbook is divided into three stages for each of the 10 segments, which include the current status of the facilities, the needed assessment followed by relevant suggestions and questions that can be raised by councillors as well as citizens during the on-going consultations and deliberations.

The 10 sectors are housing, education, health, water and sanitation, environment, livelihood, transportation, public spaces, energy, governance and urban form.

“Since there are going to be a lot of deliberations in the coming few months, the handbook will provide ready information to citizens and councillors for asking questions and providing suggestions in the meetings,” said Pankaj Joshi, executive director at UDRI during the launch of the handbook. The handbook was launched by Mayor Snehal Ambekar and Member of Parliament Rahul Shewale at the mayor’s cabin in BMC headquarters.

According to the handbook, in the housing sector, 42 per cent of the city’s populations live in slums which occupy only nine per cent of the total land, which increases the demand for affordable housing units by 11 lakhs. The listed suggestions therefore include increasing affordable housing and regulating standards of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) among others. Similarly, in the education sector, the suggestions include an urgent need of an education master plan based on the parameters of Right to Education (RTE), defining priority timings for schools using public spaces and a concrete plan for schools which are friendly for the physically challenged and specially-abled.

“The data and the suggestions presented are based on a lot of primary and general surveys undertaken in the last two-three y ears. Once we present the handbook to councillors, we will also incorporate their suggestions to bring out another volume that will prove helpful to all stakeholders,” said Milind Mhaske, Project Director at Praja, during the launch.

Source: The Indian Express, 22nd Jan 2015

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