You can #SavePDP

The Voice of Malbar Hills | Mr. B.A. Desai | Monday, Jul 10, 2017

presented serially
From the conduct of the BMC, by defying the court order, it is clear that they want to commercialise PDP by building a fire-station, swimming pool and high rises in PWD/MMRDA compound and destroy the playground.

Why PDP isn’t the right place to build a Fire Station
While the sportsmen and walkers at Priyadarshini completely understand the importance of having a fire-station, they do not want PDP and the Children’s Park to be destroyed for this purpose. There are other suitable places suggested by the Government and the replaced Draft Development Plan.

The original draft 1914-1934 (now replaced) Development Plan (DP) showed a fire-station near the Hanging Gardens which is the best place for a fire-station in the area. However, now the planning authority of BMC, in its new draft DP [2015], has a fire-station right on children's park on PDP, only to spite people. Nothing could be more heartless and mala fide.

There are other suitable and preferable places for the fire-station which are much better than a fire-station at PDP. In any case the matter is sub judice.

The Fire Brigade Officer Mr. Kale as early as 1990 wrote a letter to the Govt. of Maharashtra firmly opining that PDP is not a suitable place for a fire-station as a fire engine with towed tanker can hardly climb up the steep Malabar Hill. The DP plan is not final and is yet to be approved by the BMC and the Government.

Why major constructions can’t take place at PDP
BMC itself says that PDP is in Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) 1. How can they build constructions on CRZ1 where any construction is prohibited? Citizens will not allow either the BMC or the government to build constructions on CRZ1 area and destroy Priyadarshini Park.

Why BMC can’t stake its claim over PDP land

The land belongs to the government. It was handed over to the BMC at the insistence of the people to create a park/ playground. But BMC did not care to do this till 1985. Hence, Malabar Hill Citizens Forum - MCF took upon itself to create a park, playground and sports ground. The entire sports structure is done by MCF with support of the people and is a great example of constructive cooperation between NGO, Local Self Government, State & Central Government, Corporates and Social Organisations.

It is significant that the land doesn't belong to BMC and they haven’t has spent a single penny to develop it i.e. Zero Cost on PDP. When the possession for the reclaimed land was given in 1985 to MCF it was worse than a lunar pit. We spent Rs.22 lacs to level the land by 1987 and create Priyadarshini Park and Sports Complex in a record time of 3 years. It was inaugurated by the Mayor of Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1990.

In 30 years, neither the BMC nor the government have cared to survey the land. There has been no CS (Cadastral Survey) plan and no property card issued for the same. Moreover, PDP land and PDP are not listed in the properties’ register of BMC as the land still belongs to the Government. Even then the BMC Commissioner and the Garden Superintendent are out to destroy the Park.

Why YOU, ‘The People’ are so important to save PDP
People's movement to #SavePDP today needs to be as strong as the movement of 1970s when they stopped the Government from creating another Nariman Point and a concrete jungle.

We call upon YOU to join the movement to Save PDP and rekindle the movement of the 70s when organisations such as The Save Bombay Committee, Save Breach Candy Committee, Leaders of the 70s Movement along with politicians, actors, social activists and even sportsmen like Polly Umrigar and Sunil Gavaskar participated to save this magnificent stretch of land.

From all this we know that the opinion and voice of the people will prevail. So join the movement to Save PDP.

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