Navi Mumbai: There is a big relief for residents of Navi Mumbai as there is no need for CRZ permission for the construction of houses upto 300 sqm areas. The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has now delegated the authority to the Collector, and Local bodies to issue building permits for houses up to three hundred square meters in the CRZ area.
The decision has been taken following a directive from the Union Ministry of Forests and Environment.
Huge relief for residents, says developer
This decision was taken by MCZMA on October 18, 2023 under the signature of Member Secretary and Environment Director Abhay Piperkar. “This is a big relief to the residents of Navi Mumbai, Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad districts, Koliwade, native village Thane and CRZ area along with Konkan coast,” said a city-based developer, adding that there will be no need to go to the CRZ authority for permission for construction.
However, the decision is not an application for construction of big projects above 300 sqm like a Golf Course as they will be required to get CRZ clearances.
Meanwhile, environmentalists termed the decision a senseless. “The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) has diluted the CRZ norms giving a free hand for construction on 300 sq mtr plots which environmentalists have described as “totally senseless decision,” said NatConnect Foundation director B N Kumar, adding that this is in contrast with what the government proclaims on the various global forums such as G20 and COP and ignores worldwide concerns over rising sea levels.
NatConnect has in fact written to the Prime Minister to rescind this circular and restore the authority of the State level Coastal Zone Management Authorities.
“At a time when the government ought to be working on disaster management and risk mitigation plans, we are going ahead with disastrous plans to allow construction into the sea,” Kumar regretted.
Environmentalists sense foul play
Echoing similar views, Nandakumar Pawar, head of Sagar Shakti – the marine division of Vanashakti – said this is an invitation to disaster as land sharks will plunge in and ruin the coasts. Pawar, a fisherman by profession, pointed out that hardly any fishing community has such huge plots of the size of 300 meters and it will obviously benefit the rich and influential.
Rajeev Mishra, a civic activist who unearthed construction on MIDC land in Digha says that this is the beginning to allow developers to use bigger plots falling under CRZ in the future. “This is a popular modus operandi and the government does not care for the environment,” said Mishra.