ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Bombay 2001

Bombay 2001 Amrita Abraham ABOUT the time the report of the Revised Development Plan for Greater Bombay (Draft) 1981-2001 was released in June, the city's newspapers published three stories that are cautionary tales, as it were, for urban planners. They were all about that elusive thing, money. One reported that the Municipal Administrator had met the Chief Minister to discuss the need for additional resources for the city and particularly amendments to the Rent Act and government contributions to the city's finance. There was nothing new or dramatic about the points raised nor has the government departed from its decades- old routine of 'taking note' and then shelving the problem, A second story reiterated that the World Bank which had agreed two years ago to fund an urban renewal scheme and an ambitious site-and-serviee project in Bombay was withholding funds until the city could demonstrate it was able to raise some resources on its own and particularly by amending the Rent Act show it was pursuing more 'rational' policies. The third reported that a BJP legislator intended to take the Union government to court for appropriating funds allocated by the World Bank for Bombay. Present regulations require all foreign funds for state projects to be routed through the Centre and the practice is for New Delhi to retain a percentage. But according to Ramdas Nayak, the Centre had appropriated extortionate amounts from Bombay. This is the political reality against which urban planners have drafted the Development Plan (DP), a statutory exercise and a setting out of the development policies, the data on which the policies Ire based and the instruments for pursuing those policies.

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