Env Min nod for redevelopment of Mumbai coastal slums
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Last Updated: Wednesday, September 15, 2010, 19:44
  
New Delhi: Bringing relief to lakhs of slum dwellers in Mumbai's coastal areas, Environment Ministry has decided to allow re-development of their housing units through joint ventures with 51 per cent Government equity.

The Ministry hopes that with Government holding majority stakes, it will prevent land mafia from taking control of such projects.

The Ministry has also approved the state government's yet-another long-pending demand for reconstruction of old buildings (known as chawls) in the coastal zones.

The relaxation incorporated in the new draft, Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification 2010, is expected to boost the real estate redevelopment work in the financial hub of the country. It will come into force in the middle of November.

At present over 38 per cent of Mumbai or 166.32 km of the total 437.71 km shoreline comes under the coastal Regulation Zone.

"We are allowing re-development of slums in the CRZ area, but with the condition that it must be through a joint venture in which the state government need to have 51 per cent share," Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said at a function here.

The joint venture can be through MHADA (Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority) as a nodal agency for this redevelopment or any other public department. The aim is to prevent entry of private builders, he said in a veiled reference to the thriving land mafia in the city.

For the dilapidated and unsafe buildings or chawls where people have been living for several decades, the government is allowing higher floor space index (FSI) provided these redevelopment projects are subject to RTI, CAG audit and inspection by the monitoring body jointly set up by the Central and state governments.

"This condition has been imposed because we don't want private builders to take control of the properties and start evicting old tenants. These people have been living for ages," Ramesh said.

FSI is the ratio of total constructed area of a structure via-a-vis the plot of land on which it is located.

The step would not only help creating more public space but also provide extra residential accommodation in South Mumbai to Mahim and then Gorai in Borivali which have several heavily congested slum clusters and fishermen colonies lacking basic infrastructure facilities.

A Senthil Vel, National Project Director, Integrated Coastal Zone Management said the whole area, with additional floor space index (FSI) as per local law could be redeveloped through three-way agreements between landowners/tenants, MHADA and real estate developers.

As per draft rules, no construction would be allowed within 500 metres of the high tide line (HTL). However, large parts of Mumbai fall under the CRZ II category, where construction has taken place in eco-sensitive zones prior to the enactment of the environment Act.

On violations undertaken after the CRZ notification 2001 in the region, Ramesh said that the issue would be looked into and appropriate action would be taken.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, September 15, 2010, 19:44


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