The state government’s decision to sanction more FSI for developers for enabling them to construct towers and complexes on the open spaces available in Mumbai is unjustified. It’s not a right decision and is against the interest of the citizens, as many more gardens and maidans will be allotted for the “so-called-development” and for constructing towers over them.
Where are we heading at a time when the metropolis is facing severe dearth of open spaces and gardens? Gone are the days when we used to spend our evenings and weekends in the nearby gardens—as nowadays, we have no concept of having gardens to relax and enjoy the fresh air, at all! At many places, several small gardens have been usurped by the builders to build shanties and buildings.
As per reports, the government of Maharashtra and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation have allotted not less than 344 grounds, gardens in Mumbai to erect 45 metre high 4G Towers. Open spaces located in several suburbs have been identified for this purpose. For instance, seven of these towers are to be erected in Tilak Nagar in Chembur – i.e on the open spaces of Sahyadri ground, municipal ground, and a few open gardens/ grounds in the area. Many other plots like these are being given on lease for 20 years and which can be renewed too. No matter what the governments says, the fact remains that these towers will emit rays that are very dangerous and will badly affect the health of the residents.
Besides, for the “development of open spaces and to construct towers”, several tress will be cut down and no greenery will be left in the skyline of Mumbai. There will be no circulation of fresh air to say the least, leave other environmental factors! The young and old, the children and the senior citizens will have no open space left for recreation, relaxation, jogging, playing and other activities. The future generation children have to be explained about what a garden or a maidan is and how does a garden look like!! How will the city produce good sportspersons, when they are deprived of the basic infrastructure to practice and get groomed?
And with these towers at every suburb’s nook and corner, there will be recurring problems, like water supply, sanitation, roads, garbage accumulation, sewage and above all, flooding of the areas during the heavy rains, for obvious reasons. It’s high time all the concerned residents of the suburban Mumbai take necessary initiative and steps to prevent the authorities from “DONATING” open gardens /playgrounds, which are meant for us and our children, to the builders and other organizations. Because, obviously no local politicians or leaders will have any concern for the citizens in this particular matter and will not extend any support to the people but will only comply with the government/ corporation proposals again for obvious reasons of the “heavy stakes “ involved ! Incidentally, a big tower was supposed to be constructed at the large Gandhi Maidan in Chembur. However, local residents strongly protested and succeeded in halting the construction at the maidan.
If rampant construction goes unchecked, what’s the guarantee that tomorrow, even the Oval Maidan and the Azad Maidan will not be “ GENEROUSLY DONATED” to build hundreds of towers on these vast grounds? It’s however good to note that a fierce campaign is being undertaken to save the important environmental location of the Aarey land, hills and forests. Finally Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis himself categorically assured that the “development plan” will not be applicable for the Aarey lands and that every space will be protected.
S. Krishna Kumar