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Monday, February 11, 2008

Open Letter to the Mayor, Leaders of the Political parties and Corporators of Mumbai

We are happy that the MCGM is scheduled to reopen consideration of its proposal for redevelopment of the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Market. Numerous citizen and urban planning groups have declared that the proposal, as presently passed, is not in the public interest, will gift away municipal and public assets and should be rescinded. Many Corporators and leaders in the Corporation have been persuaded of the validity of this view. Hence, this welcome rethink, scheduled for February 14, 2008.

Where licensees now occupy sheds covering some 6,000 sq mtrs, it is proposed to build a multi-storied structure of nearly 66,000 sq mtrs. Checking with numerous builders the cost of construction is Rs 16,000 per sq mtr and sale price is conservatively estimated at Rs 3.5 lakhs per sq mtr. This means a give-away to the builder and licensees of over 1000 crores. In turn MCGM would only be getting a free a paltry construction worth less than rupees 42 crores. This whole pocess is being done without any tendering.

The proposal was passed by voice vote, in less than a minute, on the floor of the Corporation. The same principles are to apply to the other 100 Municipal Markets. The total public loss is likely to be over Rs 6,000 crores. Detailed workings have been sent to many Corporators. The media have also highlighted this consistently. Some implications:

1. This is a Grade I heritage precinct. Its priceless value, worthy of Jyotiba Phule, will be lost.

2. The purpose of providing a market which the MCGM must fulfill will be lost.The proposed structure will not be used as a Municipal Market.

3. Over 10 times the present area is to be occupied. The traffic there, already very bad,will become a nightmare, only correctible at a cost of further hundreds of crores.

Excellent designs have been made for sensitive additions at the Jyotiba Phule market with an FSI of about 1.5 which would be profitable for the MCGM and not entail any expenditure by it. These would retain the heritage value of the precinct, keep the traffic at manageable levels and serve the purpose of fulfilling the MCGM’s duty.

We are sure you will see the anti-city, anti-people nature of the present proposal and will resend it. If however you decide otherwise, we demand that these issues be discussed in the House and reasons explained to Citizens.


Sam Variava, B.G.Deshmukh, Charles Correa, D.M.Sukhthankar, Medha Patkar, Julio Ribeiro, Kumar Ketkar, Nana Chudasma, Abhijit Desai, Anandini Thakoor ,Aroop Sarbhadhikari, Ashad Mehta , Bhaskar Prabhu, Bhaskar Sawant, Darryl D’monte, Dolphy D’souza, David Cardoz, G.S. Pantbhalekundri, Gautam Patel, Gerson Da’cunha, Kekoo Gandhy, Meher Rafaat, Nayana Kathpalia, Neera Punj, Raju Moray, Rishi Agarwal, Shireen Bharucha, Shailesh Gandhi, Sharad Kale, Shyama Kulkarni, Simpreet Singh, V.K.Pathak, Vikas Dilawari, Vinay Somani, Bhagwanji Rayani, ,Gaurang Vora, Shyama Kulkarni, Simpreet Singh, V.K.Pathak, Vidya Vaidya, Vikas Dilawari, Vinay Somani, Anand Castelino, S.K.Nangia.

Posted by Bhaskar Prabhu

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