Realty projects in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and those carried out by the City and Industrial Development Corporation will get a much-needed boost as the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change proposes to complete the process of issuing the final notification of the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) by October. The final notification will indicate the quantum of land parcels that can be opened up for real estate and construction activities in MMR and adjoining areas.
It will also pave the way for the redevelopment of a large number of eligible housing societies and slums, as these areas will get a floor-space index (FSI) or permissible development equal to that for the rest of the city. An assurance in this regard was given by Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupendra Yadav to Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis during his Mumbai visit.
Yadav’s assurance is important as already Maharashtra Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray in January had urged Yadav’s predecessor Prakash Javadekar and subsequently pursued with the Centre the issue of expediting the process of finalisation of draft CZMPs for Greater Mumbai and necessary instructions to the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM).
The draft CZMP maps were prepared by the NCSCM under the Union environment ministry in 2019 for all coastal districts in Maharashtra based on the 2019 Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms. They were published on January 22, 2020. These maps use distinct colour codes to demarcate CRZ areas (I to IV), high tide and hazard line, fishing zones, inter-tidal areas, mangrove forests and buffer areas, turtle-nesting sites, cyclone shelters, koliwadas and gaothans. These maps also identify coastal areas that could be opened up for infrastructural development.
Final notification on flamingo sanctuary boundary
Further, the ministry will take up the demarcation steps on the final notification for the Flamingo Sanctuary boundary with the Law and Judiciary department within 15 days. Yadav’s assurance comes after realty players have argued that a large number of projects in Greater Mumbai would be adversely impacted due to construction restrictions within a 10 km buffer zone from the boundary of the eco-sensitive Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary.
The realty players pleaded with both the Centre and Maharashtra government to relax these curbs. The state government has accordingly sent its recommendation to the Centre, which is expected to send the notification to the law and judiciary department to seek its view in a fortnight.
A leading realty industry player said the state government has recommended reduction in the buffer zone to 3.89 km from 10 km.
In addition, the minister has also assured that on the Maharashtra Government’s proposal on the Western Ghats, a Kasturirangan Committee meeting of all CMs of western region will be held soon. The state government had proposed the inclusion of 2,092 of 2,133 villages or 15,359 sq km of the originally proposed 17,340 sq km, thereby excluding 11.4 per cent area from the draft Western Ghats Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA), and leaving out crucial wildlife corridors, buffer areas of tiger reserves and sanctuaries. The state government has proposed the exclusion of 17 villages from industrial activity and 13 from mining based on suggestions from the industries department and mining bodies.
Fadnavis said the proposal was significant for conservation of Western Ghats – a haven for many endangered plants and animals.
He tweeted: “Thank you Hon Union Minister @byadavbjp ji for the wonderful meeting and your commitment for various Maharashtra related issues and speedy decisions @moefcc.”
Yadav replied, “It was my pleasure to discuss issues concerning Maharashtra with you. I was inspired by your enthusiasm for the state’s development and I am sure together we will be able ensure a path of speedy and sustainable development for Maharashtra.”
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