BMC department overworked

Mumbai : The Staff of the Draft Development Plan (DP) Department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) met at the civic body headquarters on Saturday, in spite of it being a weekly off, as they are faced with heaps of new work post Friday’s deadline for submission of citizens’ suggestions and objections to the DP.

According to official sources, over 50,000 letters are estimated to have come in until Friday. The department has now been left with the elephantine task of sorting these letters out, ward-wise and plot numbers-wise for each complaint. After the sorting process is over, bundles of complaint sheets wrapped in red cloth will be sent to the DP committee’s office in Sion which is responsible for scrutinising them.

An official said, “Another gigantic task at hand is going through singular complaints and clubbing similar ones. Many of these letters are duplicates in the sense that they point out the same mistakes. Clubbing them will make our work simpler.”

However, only those letters that have arrived in the past 2 weeks were being sorted on Saturday. Many letters were sent across earlier and the scrutiny has already begun, official sources claim.

On being asked whether four months is sufficient time to inculcate all these changes in the revised DP, a senior official said, “It is too less a time frame. We will try our best. Some objections point out genuine mistakes and will actually fast-forward our work. Others are suggestions that are welcome but do not show urgency. We may have the liberty to sit on these and gradually inculcate them.”

Meanwhile, Pankaj Joshi, executive director of Urban Design Research Institute, said, “The government must inculcate all changes. It will in fact fasten the process of revising the DP.”  He urged that the deadline be further extended so more citizens can actively participate in the city’s planning process.

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