Builders planning projects along Mumbai’s coastline will have to go through an elaborate process to get green clearances.
The stringent process, stated in the coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) notification, will make it mandatory for big projects with construction on more than 20,000 sq metres or 4.9 acres to seek seeking approvals in three stages from different panels.
These are mostly cluster development or slum rehabilitation projects.
“First, developers will have to approach the state coastal authority. After clearance at this level, the developer will have to move to the State Expert Appraisal Committee and then the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority, which will be the final authority,” state environment secretary Valsa Nair Singh.
Developers will have to satisfy all three panels and incorporate recommendations at each stage. Projects will also be monitored post clearance. Developers will have to submit half-yearly compliance reports that will be up for public scrutiny.
Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh said if his ministry had adopted a liberal approach towards construction in CRZ areas, most slum dwellers would get evicted to make way for the super rich and their luxury apartments.
He said he was in favour of making public hearings mandatory for big projects besides introducing a transparent screening process that was open to autonomous audits and queries under the Right to Information Act.
The state government will start processing projects under this new system next month.
The process could put redevelopment of the city, especially the expected freeing up of space for housing, on the slow track. At least 146 slum clusters and more than 620 dilapidated buildings can be redeveloped under the new CRZ notification.
Projects involving redevelopment over less than 20,000 sq metres, such as that of dilapidated buildings, will need clearance only from the state coastal body, as they do now.
Developers will have to submit detailed environment impact assessment (EIA) reports, a CRZ map of a radius of 7km around the project, and disaster management and compliance reports post.