Confusion between the collectorate, the revenue department and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has led to the omission of several gaothans and koliwadas from the maps of the Development P
Confusion between the collectorate, the revenue department and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has led to the omission of several gaothans and koliwadas from the maps of the Development Plan 2034 (DP).
While a city-based NGO claims that about 40 gaothans, koliwadas and adivasipadas have disappeared from the DP maps, the BMC is unsure of the figure, claiming that it has only used the list provided by the revenue department, which is in charge of marking these indigenous settlements.
Godfrey Pimenta of the Watchdog Foundation said, “We have scrutinised all gaothans and koliwadas in the DP in detail and noticed that many of them have been omitted. In some cases, they have not been categorised properly.” Mr Pimenta pointed out that the DP text itself states that there are ‘88 gaothans/koliwadas in Mumbai and these have been marked in the DP 2034’. However, subsequent maps marked only 52 gaothans and 22 koliwadas, totalling 74. The other 14 gaothans and 7 koliwadas have been omitted from the maps.
When asked for a clarification, a senior DP department official said, “It seems like an ambiguity, but that is only because in some cases gaothans and koliwadas are located in the same place. Many gaothans also house koliwadas within their boundaries and hence we have not marked them separately. But no settlements have been omitted.”
Meanwhile, Watchdog Foundation also claims that there should have been over 120 gaothans/koliwadas and adivasipadas instead of 88. On this basis, about 35 such settlements have not found any mention in the DP’s maps. Over 20 adivasi settlements housed within Sanjay Gandhi National Park have been omitted entirely.
An urban planner from the DP department said, “There has been some confusion in this case, but that is from the revenue department’s side. Traditional settlements do not have boundaries and, as they grow in size over time, it is already very difficult to demarcate them. When the revenue department sends the BMC an updated list, we will add it to the DP.”
Gaothans which have been omitted from the DP are Khotachiwadi and Matharpakhadi in the city; Pali, Palimada, Bamanpuri, Juhu Gaothan 1,2,3, Pond, Kevni and Culvem in the Western Suburbs; and Kurla, Hall Village and Nanepada in the eastern suburbs.
Meanwhile, koliwadas that have been omitted from the DP are Colaba, Mazgaon, Girgaon, Mahim, and Dharavi in the city; Patwadi in the Western Suburbs; and Govandi in the Eastern Suburbs.