People staying in the vicinity of defence establishments have raised questions about being denied permission for their redevelopment projects. The reactions have come after the Navy recently laid the foundation stone of its 42-storeyed building in Colaba to accommodate its staff. The function was held in the presence of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Residents have asked if the defence authorities can build a highrise, then why can’t common people redevelop their buildings legally. Jitendra Soneji, one of the aggrieved residents of Naya Nagar, Ghatkopar, said, “Around 900 buildings are affected due to the existing defence restrictions in Ghatkopar East and West. Many of these structures have been demolished but cannot go for redevelopment due to the prevailing restrictions, which make the project unviable for a developer. Moreover, several buildings are in the dangerous category and have received evacuation notices from the BMC. Even if we vacate, how can the redevelopment be carried out?”
Bhupendra Lakdawala, 74, a resident of Juhu has written several letters to the defence minister and the Prime Minister's office. He said, “No buildings in Juhu are getting clearance due to the existing wireless signalling office. The buildings have turned dangerous and can collapse anytime.”
Meanwhile, the Free Press Journal had also reported that like citizens, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) is also seeking permission from the defence authorities for its ground plus seven-storey transit building in Colaba for occupancy certificate along with redevelopment permission to construct new transit buildings. In fact, Chief Minister Thackeray himself has written a letter to the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
The Mumbai Defence PRO office said that the matter of defence restriction for residential buildings falling within the restricted boundary is already with the Centre and a decision is pending.