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Corpn wards happy with State’s development promise

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The Hindu       25.09.2017  

Corpn wards happy with State’s development promise

An interim order to be in place till a new plan comes about

For the residents of around 50 wards in the Corporation area, the State government’s notification of the Interim Development Order (IDO) in the city Corporation two days ago, has come as a relief.

Ever since the freezing of the previous Draft Master Plan three years ago, residents in several wards have been facing issues to get their building permits approved. When the draft master plan 2013 was scrapped due to opposition from residents, close to 50 wards, which were added to the Corporation in recent years, ended up without a sanctioned master plan.

Core areas

Only the core areas of the city comes under the previous sanctioned master plan, prepared in 1971. Without an Interim Development Order in place, building permit applications in such areas that came near green strips had to be forwarded from the Corporation to the Regional Town Planner. There have been quite a few rejections in this period. In the IDO, residential buildings till 300 square metres are allowed in plots of area between 3 and 10 cents. In the case of plots of area between 10 and 25 cents, residential buildings till 400 square metres are allowed. All other construction purposes are limited to 200 square metres.

But, former Additional Chief Town Planner Jacob Easow who prepared the Master Plan of 2013, has criticised the delay in issuing the Interim Development Order. “The first master plan was prepared for period 1966 to 1986. Even though the second master plan was prepared and later published in 1994, it was not sanctioned by the State government. After 19 years, the third master plan (draft) was prepared and published in 2013, but it was scrapped due to several objections. Now an Interim Development Order(IDO) has been released. This could have been done in 2013 or 2014 itself. Why did we waste all this time in issuing the IDO?” he asks. However, Corporation officials say that the IDO could not have been initiated until the preparation of the new Master Plan had officially begun.

New master plan

“The process to prepare the new Master Plan began only earlier this year. So, IDO could be notified only after that,” said the official.

The IDO will be in force until the approval of the new Master Plan.

Though December was the earlier deadline for the Master Plan, it is expected to take at least an year more, going by its current pace.

The IDO could have been released in 2013 or 2014 itself. Why did we waste all this time in issuing it?

Jacob Easow

Former Additional Chief Town Planner


BMC to include slums in garbage composting plan

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The Times of India       19.09.2017  

BMC to include slums in garbage composting plan

| TNN | Sep 14, 2017, 05:35 IST
MUMBAI: Not only bulk generators like housing societies and restaurants, the BMC is also planning to rope in the slums in Mumbai for composting of garbage. The civic body has planned to initiate the concept of "community composting", wherein garbage from slums would be brought in a common area and composted within the same locality itself.

The BMC has already instructed its 24 ward officers to identify areas near slums where composting could take place. "We plan to ask those who go house to house to collect waste from slums to bring it to an area where it can be segregated and treated accordingly . The BMC would fund the expenses," said an official. Civic officials said this would eventually save the travel cost incurred as well as time taken for transportation of garbage from slums to the dumps in the city. As per the 2011 census, around 41% of Mumbai lives in slums.

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All these steps come in view of the BMC's October 2 deadline from when the civic body has decided not to lift wet garbage from those which generate over 100 kg of waste daily. These waste generators are expected to segregate and treat their garbage within their premises. By doing so, the BMC is anticipating that the waste taken to dumping grounds — Deonar, Kanjurmarg and Mulund — would come down to 6,500 metric tons from the current 7,600 metric tons. However, with the slums also being roped in, the BMC believes they would be able to bring down waste collection further to below 5,000 metric tons.

Dr Lata Ghanshamnani from NGO Rnisarg Foundation, who has been working in the space of waste management for the last four years, said a big problem with slums is that they do not keep dustbins and are seen disposing off their waste in the nearby nullahs.


BMC to go soft on waste segregation

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The Times of India         19.09.2017  

BMC to go soft on waste segregation

MUMBAI: "The October 2 deadline for waste segregation stays in place but in case of bulk generators who are unable to treat their garbage, they will have to approach BMC and provide verifiable and plausible reasons on why they are unable to do so," said BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta on Monday.

He added that if the reason was justifiable, such generators would get an extension not exceeding three months to comply with segregation norms. The concession was in response to pleas by councillors from across the city , who have received representations from their constituents seeking clarity and support on disposal of waste. As the rule stands, beginning October 2, BMC will not pick up wet waste from any building generating over 100 kg garbage a day or is spread over 20,000 sq metres. Dry waste will continue to be picked up from such addresses.

Opposition leader in the BMC, Congress corporator Ra vi Raja, said regardless of the rule, it was the BMC's duty to dispose of waste and they cannot be turning their back on it. "If the BMC refuses to pick up the wet waste it may go on piling up and will result in serious health issues for residents.Already the health of people in Mumbai is deteriorating, this will only worsen it," said Raja, adding that BMC levies taxes on citizens to pick up their waste and therefore it is binding on them to do so.

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BJP's party leader in the BMC also came out opposing the move. "As public representatives, we are being questioned but unfortunately we were not in the loop," said Manoj Kotak. He added that BMC's claim that waste generated daily in Mumbai has reduced 20% in the last four years was hard to digest. BMC has claimed that municipal waste is down to 7,700 tonnes per day from 9,400 tonnes per day in 2013. Samajwadi Party leader in BMC Rais Shaikh said the BMC should have "informed us about the decision so that we could give suggestions" instead of unilaterally issuing notices to housing societies which are bulk generators.

Shiv Sena leader in the BMC Yashwant Jadhav said the party felt slighted that neither it nor the mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, who is from the Sena, had been informed of the move.

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