Navi Mumbai Development Plan Faces Opposition from Citizen Collective

Navi Mumbai, 23rd April 2024: The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has recently submitted a proposed Development Plan (DP) to the state government for approval, but it has encountered opposition from a citizens’ collective known as the Navi Mumbai Collective. Comprising activists, architects, and urban planners, this group has meticulously outlined their objections and suggestions in an 18-page document.

One prominent concern raised by the collective pertains to the lack of clarity in the allocation of land and the ambiguity surrounding the provision of public amenities and open spaces within each node of the plan. Despite Navi Mumbai grappling with over 28 slum pockets, the proposed DP seemingly overlooks this crucial aspect.

Furthermore, objections were lodged against perceived attempts to weaken Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms. The collective pointed out a significant reduction in the total CRZ area from 25.12 sq km to 16.98 sq km, raising apprehensions about potential environmental implications.

Dishant Batule, representing the architects within the collective, voiced apprehensions about the exclusion of areas designated as CRZ III and the omission of ecologically sensitive wetlands, which serve as habitats for flamingos, from the report.

The initial DP proposed by the NMMC in 2022 was made available for public scrutiny, eliciting a staggering 15,000 suggestions and objections. However, due to the sheer volume of responses, the plan was not forwarded to the government for consideration. Subsequently, a revised version of the DP was unveiled in February of this year, purportedly without incorporating any modifications based on the public feedback received. This has understandably sparked concerns among residents regarding the adequacy of public engagement and the transparency of the decision-making process surrounding the final proposal.