The state coastal body has issued a demolition notice under the Environment Protection Act to the 18-storey Harsiddhi Heights at Worli, alleging that it was constructed in the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) without environmental clearance.
The high-rise has several influential Indian Police Service and Indian Administrative Service officers as its members. Taking a cue from the Ministry of Environment and Forests’ action against Colaba’s Adarsh Housing Society, the state government has started cracking the whip on all constructions that it feels have violated CRZ norms.
Stop-work and demolition notices have been sent to three buildings besides Harsiddhi and notices seeking information have been sent to 10 others.
Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said: “The state government has committed that by December-end it will put up all CRZ (1991) violations on its website. No violation will be condoned.”
Hindustan Times had in January been the first newspaper to report that Harsiddhi Heights could face demolition. The notice asked why power and water supply should not be stopped and legal action not be taken against Harsiddhi Heights.
“The building, represented by the developer, will be granted a hearing before the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority before action is taken against it,” said a senior official on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Sources said the case was likely to be referred to the Centre.
“This notice is the first in a series of notices as CRZ violations are endemic. This does not mean all buildings have to be demolished. There has to be an intelligent way of dealing with such violations,” Ramesh said.
Other buildings under the scanner include Sea Green at Worli, Ace Links at Fort and a sea-facing construction at Walkeshwar.
“All the buildings issued notices don’t have environmental clearance. Some of them have only a one-line no-objection certificate from the Urban Development Department,” said the official.