We has previously reported on how the much hyped proposed CIDCO Exhibition Center has landed in some deep trouble with NMMC Commissioner Vijay Nahata writing to CIDCO Managing Director G S Gill to stop the work on the site. Now built in gross violation of its own GDCR, the proposed exhibition center project has been taken to court and no points for guessing by social activist Sandeep Thakur. This plot popularly known as CIDCO Exhibition Grounds is a recreational plot. In 2001, when CIDCO introduced the concept of recreational plots in its GDCR, CIDCO sighted reasons for the need to have recreational plots in Navi Mumbai. These include : * Adding value to the city. * Act as permanent lungs at each node of the new city. * Protection of large open spaces from various kinds of encroachments and * Create a legal sanctity to protect these lands from distortion. In view of this reasoning, the CIDCO amended its GDCR and added the clause that : * The total built up area of any construction whatsoever on the recreational plot shall not exceed 1% of the gross area of the plot. Into 2007 and CIDCO overlooked its own GDCR and reasoning for the need to have recreational plots in Navi Mumbai to make a new resolution. This new resolution had a new set of reasoning for commercially exploiting the CIDCO Exhibition Grounds – the main reason being that the exhibition grounds was being wasted as it is not used. And based on this line of reasoning, the CIDCO Board passed a new resolution, in clear violation of its own GDCR to construct an Exhibition Center on 25% of the gross area of the plot as against the 1% permitted. In other words, CIDCO is constructing the exhibition center on nearly 25, 000 sq mts area on the plot when it can construct only 890 sq. mts. And the only way CIDCO could have legally made the project possible was to invite suggestions or objections before making modifications in the GDCR. CIDCO however, did not invite any suggestions or objections through a public notice. And another bureaucratic mischief of CIDCO is evident in its proposal that was approved in the name of Exhibition Center but on the ground, CIDCO is also building a Business Center along with the Exhibition Center; that would commercially exploit the recreational plot. And despite NMMC being the town planning authority of Navi Mumbai, the hand-in-glove attitude of bureaucracy was seen as the NMMC issued a “No Objection” letter to CIDCO to build the Exhibition Center despite knowing for a fact that the project was in violation of the CIDCO and NMMC GDCR. And when social activist brought the violation to the attention of NMMC, Commissioner Vijay Nahata has now written another letter to CIDCO Managing Director G S Gill asking him to stop the construction work and explain how CIDCO was building on 25% area of the plot when only 1% is permitted. In his letter the NMMC however has conveniently not mentioned the construction of the Business Center. Not surprisingly, both CIDCO and NMMC officials refuse to speak to us on the gross violations in the project. According to Sandeep Thakur, CIDCO Managing Director is a very high rank officer in Maharashtra bureaucracy as compared to NMMC Commissioner and that’s why CIDCO does as it pleases. To ensure that yet another prime plot and more importantly open space is not gobbled for commercial exploitation; Social activist Sandeep Thakur has filed a PIL in Mumbai High Court against the proposed CIDCO Exhibition Center. It’s like social activist Sandeep Thakur has opened a Pandora’s Box of violations that stink of corruption plaguing the system in NMMC and CIDCO. With the world facing severe climate change and rise in global warming effects, bureaucrats under the name of development and progress are snatching open spaces to erect concrete infrastructure projects, thereby working against nature; thereby jeopardizing the life of future generations. Zeba Warsia – NMTV News.
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