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Suggestions made by three city students to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) may find a place in the Revised Draft Development Plan (RDDP) 2014-34 for the megapolis. The suggestions were selected during a workshop - 'Understanding the DP 2014-34', organised jointly by think tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and the BMC here yesterday. BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta held consultations with various stakeholders from the city at the workshop, which was organised with the objective to include the views of academia in the RDDP. Apart from 30 planners and engineers of the BMC, nearly 250 students from 15 institutions of urban planning, urban design, architecture, social sciences and journalism attended the workshop. Mehta, while addressing the gathering, appreciated the ideas put forward by the students and outlined the ever increasing role of the BMC with the changing time. "The role of civic governance has fastly evolved.
In the last few years its role as a service provider has seen a revamp and now it acts as a custodian of citizen's rights," he said. A BMC officer said the first suggestion was made by B Arch student Berjis Driver, who suggested that open spaces should be kept open completely with least construction in it. M Arch student Rupa D'souza suggested that the civic body can make use of the unused residential properties either by levying more tax on them or bring them in use for general people. The third suggestion was put forth by Darpana Bhagat, who said that cultural heritage sites in the city should be protected and preserved and should be made open to public viewing, for example like a museum. The official further said that these suggestions, if not incorporated in the revised draft DP, they may be implemented or brought in use at some level in the near future. ORF chairman Sudheendra Kulkarni said that the process to hold this workshop began over a year ago when the BMC was finalising its revised draft development plan 2014-34. "Since the DP formulation process was almost over, then our idea was to look this workshop as a process where there were linkages created with the next generation and where new ideas could be infused at the policy level," Kulkarni said.
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