The Bombay high court on Wednesday directed the state-level expert appraisal committee (SEAC) to reconsider 14 proposals to construct high-rises in the city.
These proposals were rejected after the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) issued an office memorandum restricting the height of sky-scrappers.
According to the memorandum, the building’s height has to be based on the width of the road.
The court was hearing petitions filed by the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industries (MCHI) and a developer — Shripal Realty — challenging the validity of the February 7, 2012, memorandum.
The petitioners contended that the MoEF had transgressed its jurisdiction and sought to amend the Development Control Regulations (DCR) for the city by issuing the memorandum by way of guidelines for SEACs.
MCHI counsel Praveen Samdani pointed out that the MoEF committee, in one of its meetings, had recorded that the office memorandum was an advisory and not mandatory. However, 13 proposals of MCHI members were rejected by the SEAC in view of the circular.
The 14th rejected proposal was submitted by Shripal Realty, which is developing an information technology park at Powai.
The bench has directed the SEAC to also reconsider all other pending proposals seeking environmental clearances.
MoEF counsel Dr GR Sharma said the Central ministry had set up a high-level committee to review the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification 2006 and suggest how procedures for granting environmental clearances for roads, buildings and SEZ projects, as also the office memorandum, could be further streamlined.