Violations in Mumbai slum rehab plan

FP

An ambitious project involving construction of swanky sea-view high-rises on prime Mumbai land after razing Mahatma Phule Colony, a slum sprawl at Nariman Point, is under scanner for violation of building norms.

The plot is located between the Manora hostel for MLAs and the Arabian sea. The builder, Ace Links, proposes to house 150 of the 374 slum families in a six-storey building. In return, it will be allowed to construct two 22-storey high-rises abutting the sea.

The Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) had granted a commencement certificate to the project in April 2008, when Vilasrao Deshmukh was the chief minister. Following complaints, the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) had issued a stop-work notice in November 2011. However, after a recent meeting, the authority decided to revoke the stop-work order. This followed two reports by the collector and the SRA, declaring that the project had received all necessary clearances. A detailed scrutiny of the two reports, copies of which are available with The Indian Express, however, shows glaring contradictions.

A senior MCZMA official said the agency took a decision to revoke its stop-work order after examining the collector's report in isolation. "It has now been brought to our attention that there are discrepancies in the SRA report. We will review our decision again," the official said.

Admitting that the FSI (floor space index) consumption on the plot turns out to be higher than the permissible limit based on the collector's report, the official said: "We will take up the matter at our next meeting. In case of FSI violation, we can take action against it under the CRZ notification."

Incidentally, the project under construction is just 2 km further down the same coastal stretch as the Adarsh society, which is besieged by similar allegations of FSI manipulation.

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