South Mumbai’s Seafront Areas May Open To Builders – The Indian Express – 20-Nov-2014

November 20, 2014 - Uncategorized

The Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed a petition by the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority or the MCZMA, challenging a Bombay High Court order that upheld the redefinition of Mahim shore as a bay, thus potentially opening up prospects for builders to construct high-rises along a few seafront areas in South Mumbai.

For areas defined as “bays”, the decision will effectively reduce the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) protective covering for 500 metre zones from the sea’s high tide line. CRZ norms will now cease to apply beyond a 100-metre zone. As a result, water-front areas in the western coast of South Mumbai, that command steep real estate rates, will now be opened up for developers who will be allowed to construct using the high floor space index that is applicable for projects in the rest of the city.

The SC bench of Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit dismissed the MCZMA’s special leave petition challenging the HC’s October 2014 ruling in a case pertaining to Hoary Realty Limited (Hubtown Group). The HC had upheld the developer’s argument about his 5.3 acre plot falling outside the purview of restricted CRZ regulation as the area falls within the definition of a ‘bay’. CRZ norms have always restricted building construction up to 500 metres from the sea’s high tide line. The amended CRZ rules of 2011 reduced the CRZ protective cover for bays to only 100 metres allowing unhindered construction beyond that limit.

“Immediately after the HC ruling, we had filed our SLP in the SC. However with the court dismissing our petition, construction would now be allowed beyond 100 metres of areas defined as a bay ,” said Medha Gadgil, the state’s Additional Chief Secretary (Environment). Mukesh Verma, advocate for the MCZMA, said the SC upheld the HC’s ruling directing the MCZMA to issue its clearance to the developer within four weeks.

The Indian Express

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