Mumbai: Finally, the development of Gaothans and Koliwadas in the city on the lines of ‘smart-city’ is on its way. Once sanctioned, two Koliwadas will be developed as a pilot project under the scheme.

The proposal was discussed by Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale during a meeting with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner Praveen Pardeshi on Wednesday.

The project proposed by Shewale calls for the development of Koliwadas and Goathans in the city under the smart city scheme. “The project was well appreciated by the forum and BMC chief and has been put under consideration. I am grateful to the BMC commissioner for understanding the importance of the project and giving his nod to it. The civic body will first develop two koliwadas as a pilot project,” said Shewale.

The proposal mooted by Shewale states that the areas under these koliwadas and gaothans will get improved roads, water supply, and other basic facilities. Not only this, but these areas will be developed into smart Gaothans and Koliwadas.

The proposal further states that under the development plan (DP) 2034 all new constructions in these Koliwadas and Gathoans will be legalised. Until then, no action will be initiated by BMC against these constructions.

Located on prime lands, the Koliwadas are protected under CRZ III. For decades, the community which has been struggling to keep their traditional livelihood, has been reeling under the fear of losing their homes and livelihood to private builders and developers.

As part of their fight to preserve their culture, and primarily the areas they live in, the residents of gaothans and koliwadas too have come up with special development control regulations. Representatives of the communities presented a proposal of the new regulations to the civic body last month. It will be discussed, finalised and later sent to the state government for approval.

The regulations were designed based on concerns and issues that were discussed at 28 community meetings held across Mumbai between April 2018 and October 2019. All of the gaothans and koliwadas will be placed under three categories depending on the kind of development that suits them.

The Type A category would apply to areas like Matherpakadi, Khotachiwadi and Bandra Village that have either been declared or proposed to be heritage precincts. In this category, land use would have to be maintained as original and not detrimental to conservation.

Type B category would apply to areas like Navghar Pada and Versova Koliwada where buildings are in need of repair, reconstruction or re-development. In this category, while basic improvements and structural repairs can be carried out, residents won’t be allowed to construct extensions beyond the existing footprint and height of the building.

Shewale’s proposal will only give a boost to the proposal of the representatives of the communities from Koliwadas and gaothans, he claims.

Despite several attempts, BMC chief Praveen Pardeshi could not be reached.

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