- 29 July, 2016
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The Maharashtra Region and Town Planning Act specifies that every Municipal corporation must prepare a development plan to be implemented over 20 years. The last development plan was prepared for Mumbai in 1981 and it was adopted only thirteen years later, in 1994. Thus a new plan, which is valid for 20 years, will need to be prepared and ratified
by 2014 and will be in force till 2034.
However, the development plan prepared in 2014-2015 was not ratified and the corporation has started the process of making a new plan. The current development plan defines land reservations (i.e. land that is set aside for a specific public purpose), amenities, transportation networks and services through a coloured land-use map of the entire city. In order to prepare this plan, the Municipal corporation has selected an international consultant to support the development process.
In May 2016, the draft of the plan that was shared for inputs and suggestions, unfortunately did not address the huge gap in infrastructure for services such as schools, Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) centres, water and sanitation, and open spaces for children to play. The planning process did not involve the participation of children and therefore their voices and opinions were not captured in the plan.
CRY-supported project Habitat and livelihood welfare association (HALWA) has made an effort to take this plan to the children in their intervention areas to understand their views on the plan.
The children presented the issues in their communities and articulated the need for schools, transportation, water scarcity and open spaces. The meeting was organised by Hamara Saher Abhiyan, a citywide campaign for organisation, activists and trade union raising their voices for a more inclusive development plan.
Following this a small meeting was held at the HALWA office where over 20 children participated to know the proposed reservation on their land and understand what these reservations would mean for their future. It was found that Nargis Dutt Nagar, a home to 12,000 slum dwellers was reserved for Public Amenities like Police Station, Educational Institute and a multi-purpose community centre. Children acknowledge the fact that all these amenities are important for the city but at the same time were plagued with basic questions – where would they live if the reservation is implemented?
Based on the discussion and presentation in the thematic meeting CRY and HALWA developed a detailed letter which included suggestions, recommendations and the objections to the plan and was submitted to the Development Plan Committee in the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai on the 20th of July. The children joined in the larger protest.
These are the demands put forth by the children:
- More public open spaces
- More schools and hostels
- Secure housing
- Safe roads, water and sanitation
- Amenities like – Children resource centres, study centre libraries, homeless shelters and children’s homes
- Participation in governance
Be part of the change. Help us create a better world for our children at www.cry.org