Mumbai: The Metropolitan Commissioner of Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority has written to the state government requesting that the planning authority for Cuffe Parade, vested with it, be transferred to the civic body.
MMRDA made the plea after the authority found that there was no open land available for development in the area; also, it was unable to do much about the encroachments by slum dwellers which have eaten into the available space. At present, the MMRDA is the planning authority for the Cuffe Parade area. The Metropolitan Commissioner of MMRDA, UPS Madan, said the letter was sent to the state government after he found that there was no scope of development in an area that is swamped with shanties.
“We will not be able to develop the area due to lack of open space which is required for such activities. Areas of Bandra-Kurla-Complex (BKC) had enough scope for development as there was a good amount of open space in the area,’’ explained Madan. Several residential buildings in Cuffe Parade were built in 1989: There are at least 25 such residential complexes and four commercial buildings which are spread in an area measuring 50 acres.
“The civic body, however, would be able to develop the area and also address the menace of slums which spread from close to the Free Press House to Badhwar Park. There are at least 5000 dwellers residing in these hutments and the civic body is the proper authority for demolishing these shanties for redevelopment,” said Padmakar Nandekar, Secretary of Cuffe Parade resident’s association.
Nandekar disclosed that a Central Park has been earmarked in the Cuffe Parade area in the civic body’s Development Plan for 2034. “At least 350 acres of park has been proposed, which will spread from Nariman Point to the Cuffe Parade area. Currently, there are only two open plots which have been developed into a garden area and are maintained by us. These are, namely, the Bay View Marina Garden and the Cuffe Parade Residents Association Greens,” added Nandekar. At least 10 acres of the remaining open plot located at Backbay Reclamation has been encroached upon by the slum dwellers.
Nandekar said that once the civic body has been appointed as the planning authority for the area, the residents of Cuffe Parade will have a single authority to address their complaints. “We are not even able to construct fencing in the existing garden area as the slums are slowly encroaching on us. Once the planning authority has been transferred to the civic body, it would benefit the 5000 families residing in the area,” said another resident of Cuffe Parade.
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