State wants rules eased for slum redevelopment near defence land

  • Naresh Kamath, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Dec 15, 2014 00:13 IST

There’s some good news for residents of old structures and slums in the vicinity of defence establishments who have been awaiting redevelopment for years.

The state government has taken up the matter with the central government, seeking an ease on restrictions in an effort to speed up construction activity.

Restrictions imposed by the defence have resulted in various projects within 500 metres of its establishments getting stuck.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has directed officials to follow up on the matter with the central government.

According to Nirmal Deshmukh, the CEO of the Slum Redevelopment Authority (SRA), easing of rules will facilitate redevelopment activity.

“This latest move will provide relief to those living in dangerous buildings and also help clear the slums,” said Deshmukh.

Areas where redevelopment has been stuck include Juhu, Kalina, Kurla, Kandivli, Malad, Colaba and Worli.

The defence has been cautious in giving No Objection Certificates (NOCs), stalling various projects in the process.

The state government has been insisting that the defence should first offer NOCs to those areas which do not have vital installations as well as locations where non-core entities such as printing presses and godowns are present.

Ever since the Adarsh Housing Society scam was unearthed in 2010, the defence has been reluctant to green light projects. The state government had earlier issued a notification, which made obtaining a NOC from the defence establishment a must for any construction in the vicinity.

In 2012, the defence ministry laid restrictions for construction within a 500-metre radius of its installations.

Builders have voiced their support for the government action in the matter.

“The government should take up action on a case-to-case basis. A blanket rule is only causing hardship to people who have been living in the affected areas for decades,” said Sunil Mantri, president, National Real Estate Development Council.

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