Raising the red flag over the home department’s move to stop constructions within 500 metres of jails, the City Industrial and Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO), a state government undertaking, on Saturday sought Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s intervention in this regard.
According to sources, CIDCO’s managing director Sanjay Bhatia made a case for the order’s withdrawal, arguing that its implementation would lead to a development land loss of Rs 5000 crore in Navi Mumbai alone. The order has adversely impacted ongoing construction work around the Taloja jail near Kharghar.
Previously, a buffer zone of 180m was maintained around jails, but this was recently increased to 500m for security reasons. Sources said Fadnavis, who holds both Urban Development and Home portfolios, promised to look into the matter.
Fadnavis Saturday reviewed ongoing infrastructure projects in the region. Besides the relaxation in buffer zones around jails, CIDCO has also asked the state government to approach the Centre again for making a special dispensation for Navi Mumbai by disregarding the draft high tide line formulated for the region according to 2011 coastal regulation zone norms. The previous Congress-NCP state government had petitioned to the Centre for the same.
Sources said that the state bureaucracy had advised Fadnavis to wait for the Centre’s move. A senior official said that the Centre already holds a favourable opinion.
CIDCO also pointed out that environmental clearances for crucial components of the Navi Mumbai International Airport Project was held up due to a delay on the side of the state government.
The environmental clearance for CIDCO’s Pushpak Nagar node is stuck since the state is yet to reconstitute the Mumbai Metropolitan Environmental Assessment Committee. CIDCO has sought state’s assistance for pending approvals from Ministry of Civil Aviation while indicating that it was on course for completion of the airport project by 2019.