'Respect NGT Ruling & Save Nerul CRZ Plot': Environmentalists Request Maha CM Shinde

'Respect NGT Ruling & Save Nerul CRZ Plot': Environmentalists Request Maha CM Shinde

The NGT’s Western Zonal bench on Wednesday has also suggested to CIDCO to spare the non-CRZ part of the plot for social facilities as planned by Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) under its development plan.

Amit SrivastavaUpdated: Friday, October 13, 2023, 12:40 PM IST
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'Respect NGT Ruling & Save Nerul CRZ Plot': Environmentalists Request Maha CM Shinde |

Navi Mumbai: Hailing the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ruling against CIDCO auctioning a CRZ-dominated plot at Nerul in Navi Mumbai, environmentalists have requested the State government and the city planner to respect the order and not move the Supreme Court.

The NGT’s Western Zonal bench on Wednesday has also suggested to CIDCO to spare the non-CRZ part of the plot for social facilities as planned by Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) under its development plan.

NatConnect Foundation, which wrote to the CM with a copy to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Control (MOEFCC), has also launched a social media campaign on X platform (formerly twitter) to save the plot from being converted into a concrete jungle.

Pointing out that out CIDCO vice-chairman and MD Anil Diggikar has been the Principal Secretary – Environment and Climate Change, NatConnect expressed the hope that he would recognise the importance of conserving the CRZ and follow the NGT order.

NGT's Order Over Disputed Plot

In submission to NGT, even the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has confirmed that one third of the 25,000 sqm plot falls under CRZ 1 and similar area under CRZ2. NGT ruled, hence, that development is permissible only in a non-CRZ area which is just about 8,000 sq mtr.

In its arguments at the Tribunal, CIDCO sought to take advantage of TDR facility and utilise the FSI arising out of the CRZ area for non-CRZ plot development. The NGT bench - consisting of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh as judicial member and Dr. Vijay Kulkarni, expert member -however rejected this argument.

“We also took into consideration the arguments raised by the learned counsel for respondent No.1 – CIDCO that the area which is falling outside CRZ can be permitted by them for raising construction taking FSI of the entire area, which is falling in CRZ-IA as well as CRZ-II, but in this regard, we are of the opinion that since no construction is permissible in CRZ-II and CRZ-1A areas, their FSI cannot be allowed to be taken for construction in adjoining area as has been argued by the learned counsel for CIDCO,” the bench observed.

NMMC reserved the plot for civic facilities under its draft development plan and hence CIDCO should be advised to respect the NGT order and allow the plot to be free of the concrete jungle that it had planned, NatConnect director B N Kumar wrote to the CM.

Moreover, the rights of the self-government body, NMMC, should be upheld and the civic body should be allowed to do its work.

NMMC Not Left With Open Spaces For Social Infrastructure

The NMMC part of Navi Mumbai does not have many open spaces left for social infrastructure as the city has already reached its saturation point of concretisation. The ongoing redevelopment with increased FSI will only worsen the existing environmental crisis, Kumar said.

Environment lover Ritu Mittal said the NGT ruling is a victory for the common people of Navi Mumbai in their fight “to save our mangroves, ecosystem and environment”.

The NGT ruling came on two separate applications filed by Navi Mumbai Environment Preservation Society and a group of citizens - Rekha Sankhala, Manmeet Singh Khurana, Ritu Mittal, R K Narayan, Mahendra Singh Panghaal and Anjali Agarwal.

Kumar pointed out that as a matter of habit, CIDCO has been tendering plots with all CRZ restrictions and then asking the bidders to obtain environmental permissions. “This is a wrong and misleading process as CIDCO has no business selling something that it does not own,” he said.

It is also alarming that CIDCO is going for fresh constructions very close to the  sea at a time when the world is grappling with the rising sea levels that will drown the coastal areas by 2050, Kumar regretted.

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