Navi Mumbai : After a long deliberation, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) joined hands for a uniform cluster development scheme in Navi Mumbai.

The issue was pending for a long period though the Thane guardian minister, Ganesh Naik was advocating for the same. However, after a poll drubbing, the Democratic Front government has realised the immediate implementation of the scheme.

The uniform policy on housing project and development for nearly 96 gaothans in the satellite city is expected to benefit 20,000 families.

Considering the urgency, a high-level meeting was held at mantralaya in the past week and it was decided to give a push to need-based houses for project affected people (PAPs), which would be developed through cluster development.

In principle, the scheme has been approved by the government after it was formulated by the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation and was forwarded to Mantralaya for the final call.

A source knowing the development said that the structures of PAPs which were constructed on or before December 2012 will be eligible for the new scheme.

The NCP believes if the development kicks-off immediately, it will be an advantage for the party.

The policy will regularise structures in a radius of 200 meter from the gaothan areas.  At present, there are no roads and open spaces due the haphazard construction.

The cluster structures make it impossible for ambulance or fire services to reach these areas due to lack of proper roads.

Considering all these difficulties, the planning agency has prepared the new urban renewal scheme. As per the scheme, the arterial roads will be 18 meter wide while the internal roads shall be 15 meter wide that will make easy access both for fire services and ambulance as well.

A shift from haphazard construction to planned construction will eventually change the face of satellite city, said a top official of the planning agency.

 Indra Bhadra

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