Fishing villages get recognition in DP

In a move that will benefit Mumbai’s fishing villages or koliwadas, whose residents are among the oldest inhabitants of the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to give them representation in the city’s development plan (DP) 2034.

The civic body will mark boundaries of 13 koliwadas — Versova, Juhu, Charkop, Chimbai (Bandra) Gorai, Khardanda, Madh, Mahul, Malvani, Manori, Turbhey, Borivali, Bhatti — in DP 2034. Residents of koliwadas and gaothans (erstwhile villages) across Mumbai have been demanding special status for their villages by demarcating their boundaries in DP 2034, since it was sanctioned by BMC and sent to the state government for approval in 2018.

Godfrey Pimenta, a city-based lawyer who has been following up with BMC, said, “As BMC had not marked boundaries of gaothans and koliwadas, they were considered slum settlements and could be redeveloped under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) schemes. With our follow-ups, now all gaothans and koliwadas will be marked in development plan.”

Koliwadas have characteristically small houses with narrow winding lanes. Without special mentions in DP, redevelopment would be challenging. If categorised as slum settlements, developers would get a higher floor space index (FSI) of 4, which determines how tall a building can be built on any land.

BMC’s move comes a few months after it created Special Development Control Rules (SDCR) for gaothans and koliwadas, which gives them the freedom to decide what to do with their settlements, whether to preserve them, or opt for self-redevelopment or tie up with a developer, in which case they also have the option to sell excess inventory of flats in the market.

BMC has now called for suggestions and objections for demarcating boundaries of these 13 koliwadas.

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