Mumbai

Private activism has destroyed public wealth: BMC chief

Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardesh

Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardesh  

Litigation has cost public infrastructure projects in city, says Praveen Pardeshi

Litigation by activists has cost public infrastructure projects heavily in Mumbai, said Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi.

Speaking at a conference titled, Climate Crisis: Action for Tropical Coastal Cities, Mr. Pardeshi referred to compulsory open spaces in housing societies and how it could instead become part of public space.

“Only 11% of the total land in Mumbai is under roads. We have luxurious norms for building open spaces wherein 25% of the area is under a building while a lot of space is under private open space. That's a very big shift we are trying to do with gaothans: increase area under streets,” he said.

On the ecological impact of the Coastal Road that led to litigation and a six-month stay on the project, he said, “We are using eco concrete that allows sea life to breathe. Our retaining wall will be made with it. Mumbai has a higher green cover than any other mega city but it does not translate into purer air. We added wealth to individuals but public wealth was destroyed by private activism. We don’t have roads, sewage treatment because every project has to be fractitiously agreed to. A city like Mumbai is blocked on public actions by the lack of consensus.”

He said at its worst, Coastal Road will lead to a 2-m rise in sea level. “If Bandra Kurla Complex had not been developed through reclamation, development would have to be shifted much further, (to a place) like Tungareshwar,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 4:41:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/private-activism-has-destroyed-public-wealth-bmc-chief/article30937067.ece

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