Mumbai-based NGO Yuva, along with Apnalaya, Stree Mukti Sangathan and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), have exposed 227 faults in the Existing Land Use (ELU) survey of M/E, M/W wards in the city and have questioned its effect on the 20-year-old development plan of the city that is currently being revised.
The study revealed that errors in the Mankhurd-Govandi-Vashi Naka belt, which has the worst human development index in the city, requires urgent intervention by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to correct the flawed survey in order to uplift the standard of living of this marginalised population.
“We realised that the more we look into the minute details of the survey, the more erroneous it seems. Hence the errors are only an indication of how flawed these surveys are,” said Yuva’s architect and planner, Aravind Unni. “This will have a detrimental effect on the development of these marginalised societies.”
The report states that urban villages are either not mapped or mapped wrong. “Ghatla village is not mapped properly and Mandala village is not mapped, but demarcated as classified land.”
The survey also marks improvement homes as residential units. Kasturba improvement home is marked as a residential unit. Even government offices – the ICDS office in Chembur – and hostels – the RCF hostel – are marked as residential units. Reliance Energy and the fire brigade station are either shown as residential or said to be under construction.
“Shivaji Nagar, which has a 230-acre resettled plot, is shown as a cluster of slums. Similarly, Cheetah Camp, which is also a resettlement, is also marked as a slum,” said a programme officer of M Ward Project at TISS who was a part of the investigation team.
The officer added that these errors are a testimony to the fact that any survey without peoples participation is bound to fail. “We request the BMC to involve the stakeholders and communities being mapped and hold public hearings at the electoral ward level to enable them to prevent such mapping mistakes,” she said.
Deadline to accept suggestions/ objections may be extended
The civic body is likely to extend the deadline for accepting suggestions/objections for the Existing Land Use (ELU) survey it carried out. “The ELU is crucial for preparing the proposed land use plan. There are suggestions/objections that need to be considered. A formal decision on this will be made,” said standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale.
Chief engineer of the development plan department Rajiv Kuknur said a decision will be taken after discussions with municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte and that efforts will be made to incorporate suggestions/objections made by residents/NGOs.