The multiple Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinder blast incident which rocked Mira Road on February 8 has once again put the spotlight on the massive misuse of private and government owned property which have been tagged for various public amenities across the twin-city.
Deafening explosions awoke residents after a massive blaze broke out in LPG-cylinder laden trucks which were parked in an open ground amidst a cluster of buildings in the Ram Nagar area of Mira Road. The plot on which the incident took place is a privately owned property tagged with reservation and yet to be taken over by the civic administration.
Approved in May-1997, MBMC’s Development Plan (DP), blueprint has more than 300 plots – owned by private individuals and government bodies – are reserved for amenities such as playgrounds, recreation grounds, gardens, healthcare centres, and fire stations, among others.
The civic body is expected to acquire these plots by paying compensation to the owners in exchange of development rights certificates (DRC) and build amenities for citizens. However the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has miserably failed to acquire hundreds of such properties which are now being used for commercial activities like- marriage lawns, private sports turf and illegal parking lots, leading to incidents like the multiple cylinder blasts case in Mira Road.
As the six member civic committee continues to sit on the outcome of the probe, the police have arrested five people including the truck drivers and operators of the gas agency have been apprehended and booked under sections 285, 286, 337 338, 427 of the IPC. However action eludes the plot owner who is said to be an influential politician leader.
“Prima-facie it appears that the land owner was not taking any rent to allow parking. But we have sought information about the land from the town planning department.” revealed a police officer. More than three years after its validity came to an end in January 2018, the proposed DP continues to stare at an uncertain future, as the state government has stripped the MBMC off its power by handing over the charge to Thane’s Assistant Director of Town Planning (ADTP) for taking it to its logical conclusion.
The new 20-year vision document was mandated to be ratified before January 9, 2018.