The state government wants Mumbai to be treated as a special case when it comes to coastal regulatory norms.
In a meeting with the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) next week, the state will seek concessions to allow development of old buildings, koliwadas and gaothans along the coast without any reservations. That is in addition to large-scale projects like the Dharavi redevelopment project, development at BKC or that proposed along the transit corridors of Metro.
The state will also suggest that the hazard line that demarcates the development zone from the no-development one, as suggested by the pre-draft prepared by the Centre, be flexible for Mumbai instead of being kept at 100 meters.
The green lobby has termed the pre-draft itself a dilution of CRZ norms, as earlier, no development was allowed within 500 meters of the sea and 150 meters off a creek.
In a meeting on Thursday, officials of the environment, urban development, housing and tourism departments prepared a suggestion note seeking exemptions from CRZ norms for the city.
The Centre’s pre-draft has already guaranteed the city and Navi Mumbai special status as the most congested coastal cities, but the state is not happy with the conditions about redevelopment. MOEF has also allowed redevelopment of certain buildings along the coast as long as there is public finance associated with the redevelopment.
But state officials argued this would keep out all redevelopment projects dependent on private developers, like cluster redevelopment or the Dharavi project. “Nearly 38 per cent of the city is in CRZ II. There can be no redevelopment here if higher FSI is not allowed. Also, public financing is not possible for these 16,000-odd buildings or slum towns,” said an official.
The state wants to seek a case-to-case consideration for projects instead of a strict 100-meter line. “We have suggested the hazard line should not become a permanent demarcation. It can operate in areas where the coast is vulnerable, like flood-prone areas, mangroves. But otherwise, there should be a case-to-case study of the vulnerability factor to decide the cut-off line,” said an official.
MOEF has called a meeting of all coastal states next week for feedback on the concept draft. “The suggestions will be cleared by the CM on Friday and mailed to MOEF,” said Valsa Nair Singh, environment secretary.