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IS ADARSH LIKE FATE AWAITING TOWERS VIOLATING CRZ AND FSI NORMS IN NAVI MUMBAI – NMTV WEEKEND EXCLUSIVE REPORT

nm-coastal-areaBuilders in Navi Mumbai who have violated FSI and CRZ norms could be in neck deep trouble very soon. The Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has ordered the state government to conduct a survey of all the high rises built along the coastline of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane that have violated CRZ and FSI norms and has further asked the state to take action against them after that. Looking at how determined the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is about breaking the politician-bureaucrat-developer nexus, experts believe that Adarsh like fate could be the future of many towers violating CRZ and FSI norms in Navi Mumbai. This man has created ripples in the builders’ lobby of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane. And equally worried are the politicians and bureaucrats. That’s because Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh is adamant to ensure that action is taken against the politician-bureaucrat-developer nexus that have been party to gross violations of FSI norms of the BPMC Act and the CRZ rules of the 1991 notification. This nexus is aware that the going ahead could be rough and difficult. That’s because Jairam Ramesh has issued orders to raze down the 31-storey Adarsh housing society. Despite the most powerful politicians and babus lobby having flats in the tainted tower, the strictures to demolish Adarsh is with the intent to send a strong message to the politician-bureaucrat-developer nexus that no matter what your clout is or how powerful you may be, you will face action if you have violated either FSI norms or CRZ notification of 1991. The message was sent out loud and clear by the Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh himself, during his last visit to Mumbai when he informed the media that he has asked the state government to conduct a survey of all the high rises built along the coastline that have violated CRZ and FSI norms and has further asked the state to take action against them after that. Following the diktat by Jairam Ramesh, the state government has started consolidating information about high rises with CRZ and FSI violations in the coastal areas of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane. The housing department of the state has said that the buildings that have violated norms in these cities may face Adarsh-like action. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has directed the State Housing Department and State Urban Development Dept. to review the violations in the coastal areas in the city and submit a report within three months. NMMC too has reportedly received these orders and has been asked to conduct satellite mapping of such violations. The civic body has been asked to review the violations of CRZ as well as FSI made by builders through who have constructed towers across the coastline of the city or in other environmentally sensitive zones without getting the environment clearances. After conducting the survey, * NMMC has to submit its report to the State UD Dept. * State UD Dept. will forward this report to the Ministry of Environment and Forest * The report has to clearly state the violations made by such towers and the Action Taken Report on CRZ violations under the 1991 notification. Moreover, the relaxations given in the new CRZ notification will not be applicable to constructions done in coastal areas in the past. Sources in the environment department inform that there are many cases in Navi Mumbai where coastal permissions have not been sought, especially from 2002 to 2008. It may be noted, that it is only after the Environment Ministry’s orders, the NMMC woke up from its deep slumber and issued a notice to Venus – standing close to Navi Mumbai coastline – for violation of FSI norms. Venus, Vanashree, NRI Phase II and scores of constructions in eco-sensitive zones of Kharghar, along Palm Beach Road, Vashi, Nerul and Koperkhairane are now under the scanner of the state. State Minister for Housing Sachin Ahir has confirmed to the media that “In some cases, the action could be as extreme as the one taken against the Adarsh society”. The Chief Minister too has stated that they are working with Jairam Ramesh to regulate the real estate sector. When NMTV News tried to contact top builders of the city, they refused to speak to us on the doom that awaits the towers that are violating CRZ and FSI norms. In NMMC, the Mayor Sagar Naik admits that strict action needs to be taken but the violations have to be assessed first. The Opposition Leader in NMMC Manoj Haldankar too accepted that if action is taken in accordance to Jairam Ramesh’s diktats, then one will witness Adarsh like fate for many buildings that have violated FSI norms. As for alert citizens and environmentalist in Navi Mumbai, here is your chance. In case if you are aware of any tower violating FSI or CRZ norms in your vicinity you can write to the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan as the state is soon going to form a committee to look into complaints from citizens about CRZ and FSI violations. First the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan’s diktat against the politician-bureaucrat-developer nexus and now the MoEF’s order on Adarsh – both have made its official ! If towers in Navi Mumbai have violated either CRZ Act of 1991 or FSI norms, Adarsh-like fate could await them in the near future. BUreau report – NMTV News.

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