Acting on a petition filed by the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industries (MCHI), the Bombay high court (HC), on Wednesday, asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to clarify the status of the memorandum seeking to restrict the height of high-rises.
The MCHI had challenged the validity of the office memorandum stating that it was put in abeyance, which means that it was not to be implemented.
MCHI counsel Praveen Samdani showed a newspaper report stating that the MoEF had put the office memorandum issued on February 7, 2012 in abeyance. He stated that the MOEF sought to amend the Development Control Regulations by issuing the memorandum as guidelines for State Environment Appraisal Committees (SEACs) while considering cases of high-rises in states such as Maharashtra, Kerala, Haryana for environmental clearances.
Samdani said that the memorandum, apparently based on September 2011 decision of the Environmental Appraisal Committee of the MoEF, instructs SEACs to limit the height of high-rise buildings in proportion to the width of adjoining public roads.
Janak Dwarkadas, lawyer for Shripal Realty, which moved the HC after their I-T park in Powai was put on hold because of the memorandum, said that the MoEF had no authority to enter into the field of town planning The court has asked the MoEF to inform it about the status of the memorandum in two weeks.