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Issue 29
, 2010
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Coastal rule change to herald Mumbai boom

Source: The Asian Age, Date: , 2010

Real estate development along Mumbai’s multi-billion-dollar coastline has got an immediate boost with the relaxation of the new Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) 2010 notification.

The notification announced on Wednesday by minister of state for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh allows for slum development and reconstruction of old chawls which occupy 38 per cent of Mumbai’s 438-km shoreline.

Over one million Mumbaikars live in these 150 slums and in over 3,000 dilapidated structures which can be broken down and rebuilt, with the environment ministry now allowing a higher floor space index (FSI) in this redevelopment project.

By amending the earlier CRZ 2001 notification, the ministry has accepted a long-pending Maharashtra government proposal seeking permission to rebuild these dilapidated structures.

Announcing these changes, Mr Jairam Ramesh said: “We are allowing slum redevelopment in the CRZ area, but with the condition that it must be through a joint venture in which the state government must have a 51 per cent share.”
He added: “The joint venture can be through MHADA (Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority) acting as a nodal agency for this redevelopment, or any other public department. We do not want builders to take control and evict old tenants.”

He said the government was allowing increased FSI on the condition that these redevelopment projects were subject to RTI, CAG audits and inspections by a monitoring body to be jointly set up by the Centre and state governments.

The move will not only create additional public space but also provide extra residential accommodation in South Mumbai right up to Mahim and then between Gorai to Borivali.

Mr A. Senthil Vel, national project director, Integrated Coastal Zone Management, said this entire area would be redeveloped through three-way agreements between the landowners/tenants, MHADA and real estate developers.

Under the draft rules, no construction will be allowed within 200 metres of the high tide line (HTL). Large parts of Mumbai fall under the CRZ-II category, in which construction has taken place in eco-sensitive zones prior to the enactment of the Environment Act.

The minister acknowledged that there had been major violations of the HTL across all coastal states, including Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. On violations committed in coastal areas after the 2001 CRZ notification, Mr Ramesh said the issue would be looked into and appropriate action taken.

“We have provided five special issues so that a compromise can be worked out between coastal areas and development projects to arrive at a harmonious balance,” the minister said.

A special provision has been introduced in CRZ 2010 to protect the livelihood of fishermen and their families. The CRZ 2010 document will be in the public domain for 60 days, after which it will come into force.