High Court order intensifies fight between NMMC and CIDCO over planning authority
A recent order of the Mumbai High Court division bench including the Chief Justice declaring CIDCO as the new town planning authority and having the right to auction lands in its possession to private beneficiaries and that Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation cannot impose any reservations on them has further intensified the tussle between the two planning authorities of Navi Mumbai
A recent order of the Mumbai High Court division bench including the Chief Justice declaring CIDCO as the new town planning authority and having the right to auction lands in its possession to private beneficiaries and that Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) cannot impose any reservations on them has further intensified the tussle between the two planning authorities of Navi Mumbai.
Backed by the HC order, CIDCO has now declared that the land allottees in the city should apply to it for development permission. NMMC, which has recently published a draft development plan with 462 plots reserved for various social utilities, has claimed rights over such permissions. It has now written to the urban development department asking it to give clarity on the issue.
Meanwhile, the tussle has added to the confusion and problems being faced by the stakeholders including developers, architects and the citizens over seeking permissions and making payments.
Speaking on the issue, BJP youth leader Nishant Bhagat, the petitioner in the HC case, said, “The NMMC general body had, in December 2019, passed a draft DP with plot reservations for various social utilities like gardens, community centres, fire stations, etc. A meeting was also held between CIDCO and NMMC on the issue with the Urban Development (UD) in November 2020. Despite this, CIDCO invited bids on nine such plots in the Sanpada area in January 2021 and sold them a few months later.”
He said he would be approaching the Supreme Court against the HC order. There has to be a 50:50 ratio of residential and commercial areas in the city as per norms.
Builders Association of Navi Mumbai Trustee, Divang Trivedi, said, “We purchase land from CIDCO with the confidence that the title is clear and then there are court petitions claiming the sale is illegal. As city residents, we too want the social utility plots but there needs to be a fine balance, and NMMC and CIDCO need to sit together with UD and resolve their differences.”
Shiv Sena leader and former corporator, Kishore Patkar, added, “We have met Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and apprised him of the situation and asked for reduction of premium for conversion to freehold land. There is certainly political will to resolve the impasse.”
All eyes are now on what the UD, which is headed by CM Shinde, now decides on the raging issue.
CIDCO asks NMMC to revise its draft DP
A CIDCO official requesting anonymity said, “In the light of the HC order, NMMC has been asked to cancel its draft DP, which has the reservations, and to publish a new one. CIDCO alone has the right to decide the plots as the court order clearly states and it is beyond the purview of NMMC.”
Before his transfer late on Thursday night, outgoing municipal commissioner Abhijit Bangar had said, “NMMC has the right to reserve plots in its jurisdiction. Despite this, if CIDCO decides to give development permission, it affects the civic body’s authority. We have, hence, complained about it to the UD.”
New civic chief Rajesh Narvekar, said, “It is a fact that there are multiple planning authorities in Navi Mumbai. As the Thane Collector earlier, I could have put some restrictions on the civic body. However, now as the civic body chief, I have to protect NMMC’s interests and I shall do that aggressively. The Chief Minister is also from our district and hence I am confident the issues will be resolved.”