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Updated on: Thursday, November 18, 2021, 02:08 AM IST

Mumbai: Marol citizens, corporator start campaign to reclaim open spaces from 5-star hotels

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The citizens of Marol along with the local corporator have initiated a door to door signature campaign to reclaim open spaces from 5-star hotels near the airport. Local BJP corporator Abhijeet Samant has alleged that the hotels have taken over public places. These hotels were supposed to develop 10 per cent of their plots as public parks and gardens, which they haven't done, he said.

Samant told the Free Press Journal that the campaign started on November 15 and will go on for a week. "Our target is to collect at least 2,500 signatures after which we will shift this campaign to the online mode and collect more signatures and garner more citizens' support. This is no ordinary fight but citizens right to open spaces," Samant said.

Raising the issue in the civic body’s improvement committee meetings since 2020, Samant alleged that the BMC was supposed to take over a plot reserved in the Development Plan-2034 for creating a garden/park, but no effort had been made from the garden department to acquire that plot.

Elaborating on the issue Samant said, “Under the current policy of the state government, the 5-star hotel was supposed to develop 1.50 lakh square feet of land. In fact, the hotel has set up a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) on a part of a recreation ground designated under the 10 per cent policy. This despite the five-star hotel having used the entire Floor Space Index (FSI) under the same government scheme,” Samant said.

In 2018, the state government had come up with a policy under which 20 per cent of total land used by a hotel was to be handed over to the BMC for creating open spaces. “The issue was raised by me in the Improvements Committee meeting under the point of order in January 2020. Following this, some action was taken and about 66,000 sq ft was agreed to be handed over and demarked by the hotel,” Samant said. The corporator also alleged there are two other hotels in the area that had not handed over their open spaces.

“Two other hotels near the airport have not done any headway and neither has the BMC taken any action in this regard. I have written to the BMC commissioner, Iqbal Singh Chahal in this regard," he added.

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Published on: Thursday, November 18, 2021, 02:08 AM IST
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