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Thane waterfront project sails through hurdle

By Megha Pol, Thane
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2020 12:58 AM IST

A day after a resident of Kolshet village allegedly assaulted an engineer working for the waterfront development project, Thane civic commissioner conducted a meeting with villagers and locals who will be displaced in the project.

Thane Municipal Corporation has decided to enrol the locals for the maintenance of waterfronts and also allot them commercial spaces to conduct business along the waterfronts.

The civic commissioner has asked the locals living near the waterfronts to form a federation that will be responsible for allotting work to them.

On Thursday, Sunil Pawse, a resident of Kolshet village, who was angry that his house was razed for the waterfront project, allegedly assaulted an engineer. He was arrested.

The attack revealed the angst among the locals displaced in the project and who had no clarity on the plan for their rehabilitation.

Sandeep Malvi, deputy municipal commissioner of TMC, said, “Civic commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal conducted a meeting with villagers of Kolshet, Balkum, Mogharpada and Retibunder areas on Friday to address their issues. We will give homes to those whose houses are affected. Those who lost their land or commercial space will be compensated through transfer of development rights.”

A TMC official said the idea is to create self-sustained waterfronts, which will be managed by the locals themselves.

“We have made a policy decision, which was approved in the general body, to give chance to the local villagers to maintain waterfronts after the project is completed. They will also get stalls to do business. A federation of each of the villages in the waterfront will be set up. The federation will make a list of people displaced in the project and submit a proposal to us for their rehabilitation.”

The list will be finalised by the corporation after inviting suggestions and objections to ensure no one is left out.

Roshan Ram Thakur, a resident of Owala village, will lose more than half an acre of land in a road meant for waterfront development project.

Thakur, who was one of the villagers to attend the meeting, said, “We had demanded that the corporation give us monetary compensation or an alternative land with same market value. The corporation has agreed to give us TDR in exchange of the land. We had demanded that they should come to us with the TDR copy so it will save us the hassle to get it.”

Thakur said that they were satisfied with the outcome as the corporation has also agreed to give the maintenance and business aspect of the waterfront to the locals to maintain and operate.

Malvi added, “The civic commissioner has given directives to the officials that it will be the corporation’s responsibility to provide TDR to the people by confirming the owner and tenant of the land. Special camps will be held at each of the waterfronts to collect documents of the land from the project-affected people from next month.”

‘80% work will be finished by monsoon’

The civic officials said that all permissions for each of the waterfront development have been cleared. The corporation plans to complete around 80% of work in the first phase on most waterfronts before monsoon.

An official said, “The work is going on in full swing on all the waterfronts in the city. We will complete 90% work on Parsik, Saket and Kopri waterfronts, so that the first phase will almost be completed. Around 70% work on Kolshet, Waghbil and Nagla bunder will be completed. All waterfronts will be open for the public by December this year.”

In the first phase, the corporation plans to develop small stretches of 300-500 metres along each waterfront. It will include promenades, walkways, gazebos, ghats and seating arrangement.

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