Maharashtra: Seaside bungalows of ‘rich and famous’ under green scanner
Posh seaside bungalows of businessmen, real estate developers, cricketers and politicians, in Alibaug and other areas in Raigad, are on shaky ground, as they violate coastal regulation zone norms.mumbai Updated: May 14, 2015 23:09 IST
Posh seaside bungalows of businessmen, real estate developers, cricketers and politicians, in Alibaug and other areas in Raigad, are on shaky ground, as they violate coastal regulation zone norms.
Nearly 170 bungalows were issued notices earlier, but no action was taken against the owners.
On Thursday, environment minister Ramdas Kadam rapped local authorities for neglecting the issue and asked the Raigad collector to re-issue notices and act against the owners in the next two months.
“The Union government has imposed a ban on any construction within 500 metres of the high tide line, according to provisions in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Act. All the bungalows are violating the rules, many are occupied by the rich and famous,” said Kadam.
“Some of the bunglows are owned by locals, who will be protected under a special section,” Kadam said.
Most of the lands on which the bungalows stand were bought from local fishermen, after which they were expanded. This means the bungalows now encroach upon the beach.
The owners will be able to respond to the notice and send a representative to the collector, Kadam said.
The minister said the locals who have been living in the area for generations, and who extended their homes because their families grew, are protected under section 15 of the CRZ rules.
“I assure them [locals] their homes won’t be touched. But the others, even if they cough up fines, will not be spared as there is no regularisation provision in such a violation,” Kadam said.
Among the owners are a Shiv Sena member and current MP, a business tycoon, an eminent civil lawyer, the brother of a former Mumbai MP and a Bollywood producer. As strict as Kadam’s move is, with heavy-weight names on the list, it remains to be seen if action will follow.