In a relief to developers in Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) area, the Bombay High Court on Monday lifted an earlier freeze on fresh construction permission for residential and commercial buildings, that has been in force for at least a year.
The court’s earlier ban order had pointed out that KDMC needed to first tackle its garbage dumping problem.
The relief, however, came with a rider. The court has now asked the corporation to submit a monthly progress report on steps being taken to tackle the problem of dumping garbage.
The KDMC has been asked to furnish a progress report by June 15 and the matter has been kept for hearing on June 22. “If we are not satisfied with the progress made, we will be inclined to pass appropriate orders, including reviving the earlier order,” said the High Court.
The corporation had filed a civil application before the court, seeking a recall of part of the order that had stated “by way of ad-interm measure we direct KDMC, its authorities and the state government not to sanction any proposal or project for construction of building, residential or commercial, until further order.”
Taking note of the financial losses being faced by KDMC due to this, the court, on Monday, said in the larger public interest and to ensure proper development, it was modifying its order related to the ban. “The KDMC, state government, MMRDA should decide, process and grant applications, proposals for construction of residential and commercial buildings in accordance to law,” said Justice Anoop Mohta.
The KDMC said that in the last decade, it had a surplus fund of at least Rs 40 crore at the end of the financial year.
“For the first time, in the financial year 2015-16, due to the ad-interm order, we had at least Rs 55 crore as outstanding bills of various contractors,” stated a note submitted by the KDMC.
On garbage management, the counsel appearing for KDMC A Kumbhakoni said, “We will start two biogas plants at Umberde and Tisgaon by December 2016. Three more such plants will start by May 2017.” Total13 bio-gas plants will be established in the KDMC area.
Kumbhakoni added, “We will scientifically close one-fourth of the existing dumping ground at Adharwadi by December 2016 and the rest by December 2017.” KDMC also plans to begin the processing of solid waste at the sanitary landfill site at Barave by January 2017.
The advocate, appearing for the petitioner, said that despite orders, KDMC did not seem serious about complying with the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules. “They are admitting the default. We will permit them and see how they are working,” said Justice Mohta.
The counsel appearing for Maharashtra Pollution Control Board said that 650 MT waste was being generated by the KDMC daily. “Out of this, 540 MT is dry waste. It is unclear what they plan to do with this. Segregation is on in only 7 out of the 122 wards. The two bio-gas plants which will process wet waste have a capacity of 10 MT, while 110 MT of wet waste is generated in the area,” she pointed out.