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BMC to speed up permissions for redevelopment of structures in railway buffer zone

Any new construction within 30 metres from the railway tracks needs no-objection certificate from the Railway authorities.

mumbai Updated: Jun 17, 2018 00:47 IST
Sagar Pillai
Sagar Pillai
Hindustan Times
The NOC for construction projects in the railway buffer zone will be done faster soon(HT Photo)

Redevelopment of slums and old buildings close to the railway tracks to get a boost now with the Mumbai civic body working out a system to ensure faster permissions for such constructions.

Under the current system, any new construction within 30 metres from the railway tracks needs no-objection certificate from the Railway authorities. In Mumbai, a significant number of slums and old buildings are located in the railway buffer zone and the pace of their redevelopment is pretty slow.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) is planning to involve the Railway authorities in the process to issue construction permission through its software (Auto-DCR, a software that allows building plans to be submitted online for approvals), to drastically cut the response time for construction proposals for projects in the railway buffer zone to 22 days from the current period of up to 12 months. This is expected to boost redevelopment of existing structures that lie in the railway buffer zone.

Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta said, “We have so far cut down the time needed to give approvals to building projects pertaining to various departments. The time taken to give remarks has been cut down to minutes through our online software. Now, there will be a time frame of 22 days for the railway authorities to respond to online building plans for plots that come under the buffer zone.”

A notification issued by the Government of Maharashtra in 2005 states, “No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the concerned railway shall be insisted on before granting permissions of the building plans between the railway boundary and the distance of 30 metres from it. The development of such plots shall be carried out as per terms and conditions stipulated by the railway authority.” Developers also have to propose building plans to the BMC.

Bhavesh Sanghrajka, founder and chief managing director of Shraddha Lifespaces, said, “It takes a lot of time to get permissions from the railway authorities. Also, certain conditions like the height of the building are also decided by the railways. The new integration will be beneficial for several redevelopment projects on such plots.”

Confirming the development, Sanjay Mishra, divisional railway manager (Mumbai) said, “The software integration with the local civic body was recently done and a dummy proposal was also tested on the software.” Experts said that there is hardly any vacant space left under the railway buffer zone for new building constructions.

Milind Changani, senior architect said, “Approvals from the Western Railway take nearly six months to arrive while the Central Railway takes up to a year for construction on their respective buffer zones. Since there is hardly any vacant space left under the buffer zone, this move will expedite redevelopment of existing structures.”

First Published: Jun 17, 2018 00:44 IST