|Every one can observe that the development of Mumbai, a city of massive proportions, is completely unplanned. Growth, in population as well as commerce, increases the city’s problems manifold. Planning is required urgently. But just like one part of the body cannot be looked at without considering the rest, we cannot look at Mumbai without taking into account the areas around it.
A large population travels to Mumbai everyday from the neighboring Navi Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan, Bhayandar regions etc. This must be considered while designing the city. The Constitution provides for setting up of a Metropolitan Planning Committee(MPC) for urban areas and District Planning Committees(DPC) for largely sylvan regions as per Article 243EZ. Following the Constitution, such a committee had been setup for Mumbai Metropolitan region but it only paid lip service to the concept and has played no real role in city/region planning.
VOTEMUMBAI simply aims at enforcing the Constitutional provisions to establish a permanent Mumbai Metropolitan Planning Committee comprising of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Panvel, Thane City, Thane Rural, Kalyan/Dombivali, Meera/Bhayanar and Virar/Vasai. The MPC will be endowed with planning, regulation, coordination and data collation powers.
Ahmed Merchant had recently become the managing director of a loss-making company manufacturing toy cars. There were several departments in the company, each working independently. While the department producing the wheels of the car made good wheels, and the department making the steel body made good steel bodies, there was no coordination among the sections and thus the rigging was poor and the cars would not run. Ahmed decided to hire a team of managers to improve the co-ordination within the company. The product quality improved substantially in a short time.
Like Ahmed’s company, if no proper coordination exists between the local governments of neighboring, interdependent towns, Mumbai’s problems will persist. A strong top management for planning, coordination, moderation and data management is necessary.
The composition of the proposed Metropolitan Planning Committee should be as per Article 243EZ of the 74th Constitution Amendment Act. It should be a committee with 2/3rd of its constitution consisting of elected representatives from all local government in the region and 1/3rd of technical experts, NGOs etc. The Mayor of the largest city (bearing in mind the economic parameters) would become the chairperson of the MPC. All parastatals and Special Purpose Vehicles currently involved in planning function would fall within the purview of the MPC. The MPC could make use of the infrastructure and appropriate administrative mechanism of the MMRDA.
|Proposed Structure of the Mumbai Metropolitan Planning Committee|
|Along with the urban and rural governments in the area the MPC will also have a voice in State Government Departments operating within that region. A spatial data centre with Management Information Systems and Global Information Systems is to be established.
An Integrated Transport Authority should be formed under the MPC. This will become the primary means of connectivity for a majority of the population. It will encourage owners of private vehicles to use public transports and replace the current erroneous practice of solely building flyovers and widening roads. The Integrated Transport Authority could change the face of conveyance in the city and provide comprehensive connectivity, convenience, affordability, frequency, reliability, safety, environmental standards and urban aesthetics.
|Framework for Metropolitan Planning|
|In additions to above plans Town Planning Schemes and Urban Renewal Schemes may have to be prepared for specific areas as proposed in the Metropolitan Plan or the City Development Plan. The procedure to be followed in preparing such schemes could be as already laid down in the Town Planning Act.|