CRIT has acquired substantial expertise in Urban Development Planning and Management and specifically in the areas of Urban Information Management, Documentation, Urban Conservation, Housing Development and Management, Urban Development Planning, Project Evaluation, Infrastructure Planning, Institutional and Financial Development
Solid Waste Management Plan for Kamatipura-Kumbharwada-Khetwadi Precincts Supported by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, 2003
In the inner city wards of the Island City of Mumbai, neighbourhoods are densely populated, with very old, often dilapidated buildings. The age-old habits of disposing rubbish in ‘common house gullies’ — narrow strips between buildings — creates perennial problems for routine maintenance and overall sanitation in these area. A number of experiments have been conducted to keep the common house gullies clean, but these have yielded few results due to lack of involvement by local residents and citizens. In view of this situation, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (A, B, C, D and E Ward Offices) approached CRIT to survey and design solutions for collection of garbage in the historic inner-city precincts of Kamathipura, Khetwadi and Kumbharwada, through which more than half of all households will be able to dispose their waste through a new house-to-house system of waste collection and disposal by the municipality. All garbage collection points can be eliminated through this scheme, and the areas can be kept clean throughout the day. This initiative in waste management is coupled with a local urban renewal initiative, in which the existing municipal services and infrastructure is being listed and assessed for uprgradation, estimated investments calculated block and ward-wise, and action plans for implementation have been prepared. Urgent works such as sewerage, storm water drainage, and roads have been assessed within the existing budgetary outlay, and these works are now in progress in Kamathipura, Khetwadi and Kumbharwada.
Preparation of Management Plan for Public Open Space in Bandra Supported by the General Arun Kumar Vaidya Nagar Residents’ Association, 2003-04
In mid 2003, leading newspapers of Mumbai carried articles stating that a cabinet sub-committee under the Chief Minister of Maharashtra State had allotted a piece of land in Bandra (a suburb of Mumbai) to certain developers. The newspapers also mentioned that the developers intended to develop commercial and residential real-estate on it. This land was marked as a recreational ground in the Development Plan (the Master Plan) of the city and belonged to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), a government agency that is responsible for housing in the state. Due to its location, this piece of land was prime property and was valued at Rs. 200 Crores in the year 2003. Altered by the news, the local Residents’ Association, the General Arun Kumar Vaidya Nagar (GAK Nagar) Rahiwasi Sangh decided to approach the Bombay High Court with a plea for maintaining the use of this land as a public open space. The members of the Association were inspired by the case of Oval Maidan, where the the Oval Residents’ Association had fought a court case to obtain the maintenance rights of a public open space. CRIT was approached by the GAK Nagar Residents’ Association to help with the Public Interest Litigation. They asked CRIT to prepare a document with arguments for keeping the open space as a recreational ground instead of developing it for commercial purposes. The document was also to contain plans for improvement of the open space along with (organizational and financial) strategies to maintain it. This document was not only being prepared for the court, but was also for the private parties who were to invest in the development of the area as well as for the various state and private institutions whose blessings were required for the development of the space. The GAK Nagar Residents’ Association wanted to prepare itself to take over the open space like the case of Oval Maidan.
Assessment of Dilapidated Building Redevelopments
The Government of Maharashtra had modified the Development Control Regulations of Mumbai City to encourage redevelopment of old and dilapidated buildings in such a manner that all existing occupants of the buildings would be rehabilitated. To offset the costs of such redevelopment, the regulation allowed for building of additional real estate on the same plot which could be sold in the market. The developers however saw this regulation as an opportunity to get built up space in the land starved context of Mumbai. While the regulation raised several questions regarding insufficient infrastructure to carry additional densities, there were also number of other issues related to property and tenure that surfaced. The trustees of the Land Research Institute (LRI) had filed a Public Interest Litigation against the regulation and commissioned CRIT to undertake a study of representative examples of redevelopment for the case.
Evaluation of Slum Sanitation Programme, Mumbai
The SSP was an initiative of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to provide toilets in the slum settlements of the city. The programme was funded by the World Bank under the Mumbai Urban Transportation Project. Under the programme, an NGO-Contractor combine were to be appointed by the Municipality with twin objectives – the NGO was to set up and train a CBO (Community Based Organisation) which was to subsequently manage the community toilet and the contractor was to build the toilet block. More than 300 toilet blocks were built under the programme and the Municipality had approached the World Bank for up-scaling the project. The World Bank wanted an evaluation of the earlier project and appointed TARU Leading Edge, a urban infrastructure consulting firm for the purpose. CRIT was appointed by TARU Leading Edge to undertake survey of infrastructure, condition assessment of toilets, land mobilisation for toilets and some other aspects in sampled slums. About 60 slums were surveyed by CRIT exposing large cracks in the implementation and operation of the programme.
Vision Plan for Mumbai’s Eastern Water Fronts
The Port and Dock Lands of Mumbai — occupying the entire harbour-side shore of the Island City — contains docks, warehouses, ship-breaking yards, formal and informal industries and economic activities which have been a vital part of the city’s economy and history. Across the harbour, in Nhava-Sheva on the mainland, containerised shipping has eclipsed the functions of the old Mumbai Port Trust, the sole custodian of the Port and Dock Lands, and the largest land-holder in Mumbai. Containerisation and regional competition by new ports has dramatically changed the historic relationships between the old port and the city, and the harbour and surrounding region. These transformations make it necessary for all those concerned with the city’s future to focus on a public strategy and planning brief for the regeneration of Port and Dock Lands within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Earlier phases of the project (2000–2001 undertaken by KRVIA and UDRI) had mapped the built environment of the EWF according to criteria of land-use, ownership patterns, conservation and heritage values, and population and infrastructure. In the process of documentation of the precinct, different actors and agencies were also identified, which have a claim on the limited resources of the area, and whose different and often conflicting interests and agendas will affect any future development scenarios. This study stimulated dialogue between policy-makers, planners and scholars to develop a new planning brief and vision for the regeneration of this historically significant industrial waterfront. CRIT was approached by UDRI, which was appointed by the Task Force set up by the Government of Maharashtra to undertake conceptualization of new possibilities for the Eastern Waterfronts. CRIT involvement included formulating development strategies and policy instruments for the regeneration of the Port and Dock Lands of the Island City of Mumbai.
Up-gradation of Perspective Plan for Haldia Region
The Haldia Development Authority (HDA) initiated a process of industrialization in the Haldia Planning Area (HPA) and appointed EMNET Services for envisioning the process. EMNET Services commissioned CRIT to develop the perspective plan for the HPA. The HDA had intended to extend the boundaries of the planning area to include the talukas of Tamluk (in the north) and Nadigram (in the east). The brief set up by EMNET Services was to develop series of Special Economic Zones in the extended planning area to quicken the industrialization process which was considered to be the key for growth. When CRIT started the survey it was soon realized that the project was essentially intended towards land grab for large multinational industries and displacement of the local communities. In the plan that was prepared, CRIT was able to show the environmental fragility of the region and argued for modernization of existing agricultural practices rather than predatory industrialization.