‘All our plans are inclusive’

| Updated on January 27, 2018 Published on March 09, 2016

Tejaswi Naik, Commissioner, BMC

BMC Commissioner Tejaswi Naik tells Virendra Pandit that criticism of the Smart City Project is misplaced. Excerpts from an interview:

Some organisations oppose the project, saying 30,000 trees would be cut and 2,700 houses demolished.

Whenever a new project is undertaken, some people oppose it. Earlier, they claimed 8,000 trees will be cut; then they increased it to 15,000. The fact is that if needed, we may cut fewer than 1,000 trees and demolish 1,240-odd houses, all of them old and needing annual repairs, to create space for new constructions.

Those opposing the project seem concerned about their own interests. The benefits of development should percolate to the lower-income groups too.

Those protesting say they were not consulted.

We consulted 3.5 lakh citizens.

How feasible is the project?

It is quite feasible: we don’t have to acquire private land. We don’t want to raise many high-rise buildings. Fifty per cent of the space will remain open and the remaining will be used for planned development. We will follow the Central government norms of keeping 32 per cent of land under affordable housing-for-all schemes. Our plans should be inclusive, and they are.

In the TT Nagar area, redevelopment has been delayed despite demolition of old government structures. So how do you plan for Shivaji Nagar?

We have learnt our lessons from TT Nagar.

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Published on March 09, 2016
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