Env Min nod for redevelopment of Mumbai coastal slums

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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