The National Green Tribunal has imposed a stay on all new building construction permissions in the vicinity of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, in a move that may impact several proposed real estate projects in the eastern and western suburbs of Mumbai and parts of Thane district.
The NGT has directed municipal authorities to not grant any further construction permissions till the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests or the National Board of Wild Life duly notifies a proposal of the state government to declare the area surrounding the national park as an eco-sensitive zone.
The tribunal has, however, not specified the exact area around the national park where new construction project permissions need to be held back.
The NGT gave the order while hearing a petition filed by social activist Santosh Daundkar who, among other grounds, had contended that a real estate project of Omkar Realtors and Developers at Malad was located too close to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Advocate Aditya Pratap, representing the petitioner, said, “In 2003, the Supreme Court had given a judgement restricting mining activity in a 10-km radius of national parks without a clearance of the NBWL. Even building construction involves escalation of sand and minor minerals, so the Omkar project could not have received a green clearance without the approval of the standing committee of the NBWL.”
A spokesperson from Omkar Realtors said, “The NGT order has no impact on any ongoing project in Mumbai. All future projects within 10 km of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park will require a no-objection of NBWL, which is yet another permission that will lead to delayed launches, increasing costs and thus decreasing supply in the short run and increasing prices.”
While the NGT has not issued a stay on construction activities at Omkar Realtors’ project, Alta Monte, in Malad, it has directed the developer to inform prospective buyers about the litigation.
“As far as the present project is concerned, the previous order dated February 2, 2015, to inform the prospective buyers about the pendency of the litigation in this tribunal be abided by scrupulously,” the tribunal has said.