Mira Bhayandar: After staring at an uncertain future for more than six years, the much-delayed development plan (DP) of the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has finally been drafted by the town planning department attached to the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC).
The proposed DP will soon be tabled before the state government and the MBMC, following which it will be published. MBMC's DP came into effect in 1997. A new 20-year fresh vision document was mandated to be prepared and ratified before its validity came to end in 2017.
MBMC's Power Stripped Due to Delays
Due to inordinate delays, the government stripped MBMC of its power by assigning the responsibility of preparing the new vision document to the Assistant Director of Town Planning, Thane. Despite this, the delays persisted, and the notification inviting objections and suggestions was finally published on October 28, 2022. More than 4,200 objections and suggestions were received in response to the notification by the last submission date on November 27.
The hearings were conducted in two phases: from February 8 to 9 and from February 13 to 17, 2023, by a panel of experts, including a retired Joint Director, a retired Assistant Director of Town Planning, an environmental planner, and the ADTP. "After a report was filed by the panel, necessary changes were incorporated into the draft before giving it a final touch. The final Draft Plan will soon be presented to the state government and MBMC. If needed, the government can fine-tune the draft before forwarding it for final publication," said a senior officer attached to the Town Planning wing.
Results of Delays
Apart from ground surveys, advanced technology like drone-powered aerial surveys were conducted to draft a comprehensive plan aimed at the all-round development of the twin cities. This plan includes structural planning and detailed infrastructure requirements for the next 25 years. However, it has been alleged that the inordinate delay in implementing the new DP led to hasty development of centrally-located and privately-owned reserved land parcels by the influential builder lobby. It was also alleged that, instead of conducting physical surveys to assess ground realities, the plan was drafted from the comfort of air-conditioned cabins.
Legislator Pratap Sarnaik dropped a bombshell, stating that essential amenities such as an education hub, tourist spots, new playgrounds, Metro car shed, and film city were ignored while preparing the new DP. However, the ADTP’s office refuted these allegations as wild and baseless, stating that the plan was prepared with due adherence to the Regional Town Planning Act and other mandated guidelines.