Maharashtra government clears proposal to treat portion of South Mumbai seashore as land

The Maharashtra government's revenue department has cleared a proposal to treat a portion of Arabian offshore in South Mumbai as revenue land.

According to the Indian Express, on July 15, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis approved in principle the revenue department’s proposal to treat a foreshore portion on the seaward side of the High Tide Line (HTL) in the Nepean Sea Road area as revenue land. The documents which the leading daily has obtained shows that the revenue department had processed the proposal after slum developer, M/s DLPL Infrastructure LLP, had approached Fadnavis in this regard.

In a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on September 26, 2016, the developer requested to "issue directives to the Mumbai (City) Collector for providing a cadastral survey number to the ‘foreshore land’ for a slum redevelopment project to be undertaken” on it. And on September 29, the department forwarded the developer’s demand to the Mumbai Collector, on which the CM noted, “Collector of Mumbai, examine and do the needful.”

Fadnavis told the Indian Express, “The government has only given in-principle approval to survey the foreshore land and to give cadastral survey number to the land parcel determined as a result of the survey. The government letter to the Mumbai Collector in this regard is limited to this in-principle approval only. The developability of the land parcel shall be subject to CRZ laws and Mumbai’s development regulations. A NOC from the environment department had been obtained before giving the in-principle approval. There is no illegality or favouritism done.”

The leading daily's report further states that, the developer's letter says that the portion is a ‘foreshore land.’ Contending that a slum pocket, measuring about 21,528 sq ft and comprising 100 shanties, had come up on the land, the letter stated that a proposal for in-situ redevelopment of the slum dwellers — they have formed a collective called the Shivaji Nagar CHS (proposed) — had earlier been admitted by the state-run Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), the developer complained that it had not progressed further as the land survey number had not been given.

The environment department, too, said that the land in question was a foreshore. It reasoned that under CRZ regulation, no development or construction was possible. Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) Manu Kumar Srivastava has confirmed that the portion has been labelled as land. Srivastava told the Indian Express, “We have just labelled the portion as land. It is for the competent authority to independently decide whether the land is developable or not.”

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