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BMC inaction may lead Mumbai to lose 2,000 open spaces

MUMBAI: The city stands to lose 2,000 or nearly two-thirds of plots reserved as open spaces, following recent amendments to the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act granting a two-year extension to prepare the new Development Plan.

The existing Development Plan (DP), which was to expire in 2013, continues till the new plan is published, now expected only in 2017. This gives private land owners another two years to serve BMC a purchase notice for reserved plots. In all 3,000 plots were reserved for open spaces of which nearly 1,000 have been acquired by the BMC.

Civic officials said the draft revised DP will be published in April. “It is also proposed to set up a planning committee to hear objections and suggestions. It will be given six months for the purpose which can be extended up to a year,” said sources. The plan will then be sent to the government for approval, which under the amendment is allowed a year to do so. “It will be two years before the final revised plan is published. The existing plan will continue till then. This means land owners can for the next two years issue purchase notices,” said sources.

However, under the MRTP, the BMC, even after the purchase notice is issued, has six months in which it can initiate the process to acquire the plots. mumbai-slideshow

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