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CM announces panel to review Mumbai development plan

fADNAVISIn the wake of strong objections against the controversial development plan for Mumbai, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday announced a three-member committee headed by Chief Secretary for its review.

The preliminary report will be submitted before the end of the legislative session on April 10, Fadnavis said.

Similarly, against the backdrop of the dispute over tariff fixation of Metro rail between the state government and Reliance Infrastructure (which built the Metro rail line), Fadnavis also announced that a special audit will be conducted by CAG into the Mono and Metro rail projects to check if Reliance’s claim regarding the tariff was correct or not.

“The government also plans to encourage mega tourism projects in Mumbai,” he added.

Chief Minister was replying to a debate on issues concerning Mumbai in the Legislative Assembly.

Fadnavis said the government has been inundated with complaints against the Development Plan (DP), especially existing land use (ELU), reservation and floor space index (FSI).

“The time-frame of 60 days given for suggestions and objections is ending soon. So the government has to go for limited intervention. But the government has no plan to take over the work of preparation of DP from the municipal corporation,” he added.

Fadnavis said the three-member committee headed by the Chief Secretary will have Urban Development Principal Secretary and Director, Town Planning.

“The committee will scrutinise the complaints regarding ELU, whether the process had been done appropriately and whether there is need to restart the process again if gross irregularities are seen,” he said, adding, that the government’s intervention was necessary.

Fadnavis said that his government was committed to develop Mumbai as Mumbai and not Shanghai or Singapore.

Fadnavis said out of the 14,000 cessed buildings in the island city of Mumbai, redevelopment work in 5,000 such structures is on.

“If there is no progress in the redevelopment work for more than three years, the developer’s NOC will be scrapped and Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) would step in,” he added.

Development control rules for Dharavi redevelopment will be finalised within a month, he said.

Fadnavis also announced that the ‘safai kamgars’ (sweepers) of Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be given houses on ownership and later this scheme would be extended to municipal corporations in the entire state.

He said the new housing policy with a focus on affordable housing by creating more housing stock in low income and middle-income groups would be finalised by the first week of May.

Fadnavis told the Assembly that the consent of beneficiaries for SRA projects will be taken through secret ballot.

The Chief Minister also informed that the development control (DC) rules will be amended, in which provision for five lakh houses to be constructed in MHADA layouts will be made.

Given the problems faced while implementing the Metro I and II projects, Fadnavis said the remaining phases of the project would be constructed underground.

Referring to the issues of Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Fadnavis said the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) will construct 55,000 low-cost housing stock.

He also lauded the compensation package for the project-affected people of the proposed Navi Mumbai international airport.

“It (compensation) is the best in the country. Even though it might create problems in future to offer similar packages to other projects,” he added.

The CIDCO has prepared interim development plan for 35 sq km of the 600 sq km in the proposed Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (NAINA).

For the second phase in 235 sq km, infrastructure would be developed as per demand.

He said government is mulling over a law for deemed conveyance and opinion of law and judiciary is being sought.

A decision on this would be taken in two months, he added.

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