THE Bombay High Court on Friday vacated its stay on raising the Floor Space Index (FSI) in Navi Mumbai, Thane and Mumbai suburban areas for projects under the cluster redevelopment scheme. The court vacated the stay after the state government submitted an impact assessment report that was in favour of the scheme.
The stay was granted in September 2014 by a division bench of the Bombay High Court after a petition was filed by a resident of Thane, Dattatray Dhond, stating that the government had failed to conduct an impact assessment study before deciding to redevelop a project and that it would adversely affect the development of the area. The government had filed an application seeking the stay to be vacated.
Government Pleader Abhinandan Vagyani submitted the impact assessment report by the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation and the CIDCO in support of the scheme, and said that there would not be any adverse impact on the city’s development as a result of the scheme. Vagyani also told the court that because of the stay, several people living in old and dilapidated buildings were not able to carry out reconstruction on their own ,and therefore, it was important for the state government to develop these structures.
A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice N M Jamdar, while vacating the stay, said: “The government has obtained the impact assessment report, which supports the cluster development. Therefore, the stay can be vacated and the government can go ahead with the proposal.” In 2014, the state government had proposed to increase the FSI to four, which would allow private developers to redevelop slums, dilapidated structures and old buildings into multi-storeyed buildings.
The proposal said that the increased FSI was essential as it would allow private developers to recover the cost of rehabilitation of existing inhabitants. The proposal was stayed after the court took into account the petitioner’s contention that no impact assessment was carried out by the state. The court has allowed the state government to issue fresh notifications. The bench also stated that the petitioners have the liberty to challenge the notification if they do not find the impact assessment study satisfactory.
The proposed scheme, that has been pending since 2014, will now lead to the redevelopment of slums, dilapidated and old buildings along with necessary infrastructure such as open spaces, roads, gardens and other amenities in large parts of the city.