New CRZ norms fuel hope for planned growth

  • Naresh Kamath and Sayli Udas Mankikar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
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  • Updated: Dec 28, 2010 01:13 IST

The stakeholders in the city’s development have welcomed the soon-to-be-announced Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules 2010, which will give Mumbai ‘special status’ with separate CRZ rules for the city.

The Hindustan Times reported on Monday that the new rules expected to be announced by union minister of environment and forests (MoEF) Jairam Ramesh soon is expected to bring about a sea-change in Mumbai’s skyline by giving a push to redevelopment projects.

“This will bring relief to lakhs of families living in precarious conditions in dilapidated buildings across the city,” said state minister for housing, Sachin Ahir. “We can create a new planned township in these areas.”

Ahir was referring to more than 16,000 old and dilapidated buildings in densely populated pockets of south and central Mumbai that will open up for development.

These areas lend themselves to cluster development where the entire locality is developed in an integrated manner with basic infrastructure in place.

Amarjit Singh Manhas, chairman, of the Mumbai Board of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority said any decision to boost housing stock in Mumbai is commendable.

“If these areas are revamped, it would create a large stock of low-cost housing, which will also impact the realty market,” said Manhas.

Real estate developers and consultants hoped the new norms are applied appropriately to ensure a holistic development model.

Abis Rizvi, director of Rizvi Builders, said: “This is the need of the hour since Mumbai is an island city and development is currently being stifled due to these CRZ regulations”.

The new norms also call for saving mangroves and declaring open spaces as no development zones.

“It is good that open spaces are on the agenda but the hope is that the civic body acquires all the spaces and maintains them,” said Neera Punj, convener, Citispace, a group working to preserve urban spaces.

Pankaj Joshi, conservation architect and executive director of the Urban Design Research Institute, feels the rules should be spelt out clearly. “These rules will be integrated as a part of the bigger master plan for Mumbai and will need to be spelt out better, and their implications understood well,” said Joshi.


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