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Green norms stall 47 Mumbai realty projects in past yr

As many as 47 real estate projects,mostly residential,have been stalled in Mumbai over the last 12 months for failing to adhere to a Union environment ministry office

Written by MANASI PHADKE | Mumbai |
March 12, 2013 1:38:59 am

As many as 47 real estate projects,mostly residential,have been stalled in Mumbai over the last 12 months for failing to adhere to a Union environment ministry office notification that links the height of a building to the width of the road on which it is located,and to its distance from the nearest fire station.

The ticket size of some of these projects is larger than Rs 500 crore. Fifty-three projects were initially deferred,but six were subsequently cleared after the developers agreed to cut the height of their buildings — by nearly a half in some cases.

Promoters of another 65 projects did not turn up before the state environment panel,fearing the proposals would be rejected,state government officials said. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had,in July 2012,drawn the Prime Minister’s attention to the February 7,2012 notification by the MoEF after failing to elicit a response from Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan. He has not got any relief yet.

According to the MoEF notification,a building cannot go beyond seven floors or 60 metres in height if the road is less than 30 metres wide. Several redevelopment proposals are coming up on roads that are less than 30 metres wide as per the city’s development plan.

State environment secretary Valsa Nair Singh said developers are given a chance to recast their proposals to comply with the MoEF memorandum before their projects are delisted. “But many of them prefer not to recast because they are waiting for a change in the guidelines. If they recast now,even if that memorandum is changed,they will not be able to raise the height of their buildings,” she said.

The 53 projects intially stalled include those by Indiabulls,Sunteck Realty and Hubtown Developers,with sizes ranging from Rs 30 crore to Rs 590 crore.

Minutes of the environment ministry’s state-level expert appraisal committee’s meetings reveal that several developers had sought deferral of their proposals so that they could be recast as per the new rules.

For instance,the committee cleared a Rs 186.40 crore slum redevelopment project by Renuka Realtors at GD Ambedkar Marg in Sewri after the developer agreed to recast the proposal. The builder had to slash the height of the building that forms his sale component to 59.9 metres from the 171.3 metres originally proposed to make his project viable. The ministry i has set up a committee under Planning Commission member Dr K Kasturirangan to review the provisions of the Environment Impact Assessment Notification 2006 for grant of environmental clearance.

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