Even as the Maharashtra government is trying to create a planned showpiece new city, NAINA, around the upcoming Navi Mumbai airport, the state’s special planning authority for the area is struggling with development proposals received in the region.
The City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), which was appointed as the special planning authority for NAINA in January 2013, has been able to clear less than 12 per cent of the total proposals it has received so far.
Officials say, most proposals are incomplete, have problems with land titles, or are submitted without several necessary ‘no objection certificates’ such as those for water, power supply and proximity to the airport and so on.
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CIDCO has 251 proposals so far, of which it has been able to clear only 29, according to information from the agency. The corporation transferred about 50 proposals received for construction in the NAINA area to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation. The state government recently appointed the latter as the special planning authority for area around the 95-km Mumbai-Pune Expressway and a portion of what was earlier to be part of NAINA in its jurisdiction.
A senior CIDCO official who did not wish to be named said, “In several cases, the actual layouts, the area on legal property papers don’t match.Then in many cases, developers are not being able to show proper access to the site, which is very important at the time of granting development permission. In some cases, the plans shown are not sufficient to cater to the population density proposed.”
For instance, in one case, the developer proposed to consider the size of a family as three so that he wouldn’t need to increase number of elevators in a building meant for the economically weaker sections, while for other amenities the unit size of a family was counted as five, the official added.
The entire designated area of NAINA, coined after the Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area, is spread across 560 square kilometres, touted to be 1.5 times the size of Mumbai’s island city. For now, CIDCO has carved out a much smaller area of 37 square kilometres to be developed on a pilot basis in the first phase, and has drafted a development plan and development control regulations for the patch. It is currently awaiting an approval from the state government for the development plan.
The 251 construction proposals that the corporation has received are, however, from across the 560 square kilometres of the proposed NAINA city. In the absence of a development plan, these are currently being assessed based on the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) region plan.
A CIDCO planner said, most of the proposals that the corporation is getting for construction in NAINA pertain to either the MMRDA’s old rental housing scheme or for projects within 200 metres of gaothan areas, with a higher Floor Space Index (FSI) of 4 and 1, respectively. FSI refers to the ratio of the permissible construction on a given plot area.
Meanwhile, developers allege that CIDCO is deliberately dragging its feet on approvals. Rajesh Prajapati, former president of the Raigad unit of the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry, an umbrella organization of developers, said, “CIDCO takes a long time in scrutinizing proposals, and they go on seeking corrections. Every NOC has a stipulated end date. If that lapses while the proposal is under consideration, we can’t do much about it. In case of rental housing projects too, the MMRDA has already reviewed plans while giving locational clearance. Now just because CIDCO is the planning authority for the area, it cannot revisit the whole plan and seek changes. It is only a delaying tactic.”