‘Given the infrastructure, you can’t open FSI’

P VAIDYANATHAN IYER:Given this issue of governance, changing leadership and bureaucracy, what interventions are possible by the private sector?

NARINDER NAYAR:We have discussed important projects. We had undertaken a study on the impact of reclamation in Mumbai. I got in touch with World Bank, which told me The Netherlands had extensive experience in reclamation as three-fourth of the country was reclaimed. We invited experts from there. They made two visits and a presentation. CM said since the seven islands of Mumbai were reclaimed, the state should conduct a study. Mumbai Transformation Support Unit has been asked to do the study on the consequences of reclamation. We take up issues through the empowered committee.

ZEESHAN SHAIKH:How receptive is the state government to ideas floated by private organisations? In the Pedder Road viaduct project, the empowered committee suggested an underpass but the government agency is going ahead with a flyover.

NN:The state government is receptive, but the system takes a long time. We suggested connectivity to open up the hinterland — the transharbour link.

You may say the link talk is going on since the '60s, but the fact remains nothing happened till we revived the concept. East-west connectivity, too, did not happen until we came into the picture. We brought connectivity via Metro Rail on the agenda and then MMRDA appointed consultants and commissioned a study. However, nine corridors are yet to be completed and there is no proper planning.

SMITA NAIR:In Singapore, there is a master plan and a concept plan. They have gone into details such as schoolchildren suggesting how they can make pavements beautiful. How much of the Mumbai concept plan did the common man know?

NN:The concept plan is a vision document, not a detailed master plan. It is to be consulted to prepare master plans of different areas. During preparation of the concept plan, several meetings were held by the Singapore consultant with NGOs, and residents participated. Our task is to get the concept plan accepted by the government. As per the bureaucratic process, the concept plan has to go through the metropolitan planning committee (MPC). Unfortunately, MPC doesn't exist. So, the first thing the state is doing is forming it. We have suggested since there is no MPC let the concept plan go straight to the cabinet.

... contd.

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