With building restrictions around naval establishments reduced from 500 metres to 50, long-suffering tenants are confident their redevelopment projects will get green light
A building project in Ghatkopar West which was stuck as it fell within 500-metre radius of the Naval establishment
The new guideline issued by the Defence Ministry which reduced the buffer zone of a Naval establishment to 50 metres from 500 metres has come as a big relief to many. Those whose homes or establishments fell within the earlier 500-m buffer zone, can now go ahead with construction after getting a no-objection certificate from the civic building proposal department. Residents welcomed the ministry’s move but were unsure about getting the requisite permission.
Ghatkopar residents who were affected by the earlier buffer zone said that though the Defence Ministry’s December 23 order made way for building construction and repairs, they are unsure about how the same would be implemented. They further questioned if the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will clear their proposals which have been pending for 8-10 years. A civic official, on the condition of anonymity, said that they would start giving permission to builders and developers in a week.
The 500-metre buffer zone was established for the safety of defence areas and the Indian Navy stopped issuing NOC to construction or redevelopment of houses falling in the zone in 2011. Architect Manoj Dahisariya told mid-day, “In February 2015, the Maharashtra government issued a guideline and instructed that the 2011 order which put restrictions on the height of houses in defence areas be adhered to while issuing NOCs. The Ministry of Defence was then supposed to provide a buffer of 10 metres in October 2016, but the directive did not include naval assets. Stakeholders, real estate developer associations then asked the state government to issue guidelines for naval establishments. According to the new order, the buffer zone for naval areas has been reduced to 50 metres.”
Narendra Sone, a resident of Ghatkopar West who lives around 50 metres away from the naval base, said, “We are very grateful to the government and leaders for this. But, even after the order, those of us living near the Naval store in Ghatkopar West are confused as to how the officials will measure the 50 metre distance. Will they consider their wall or the road that lies five feet away from the wall?”
“As per the order, the civic body will decide how many floors we can erect but we are still unsure whether we have to take any permission from the Navy and how the distance will be calculated,” he added. Nilesh Shashtri, another local, said, “We had to take several routes to present our points to the Defence Ministry. With the effort of our local parliamentarian, we have hopes to get back our homes. A lot of senior citizens have suffered due to the earlier guideline and are forced to stay in rented flats.”
‘Will start giving NOC soon’
Former Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar said, “This order has brought relief to many residents. We will try to implement this soon so these residents can get back their homes.” An official from the building proposal department told mid-day, “We were unable to give NOC for so many years due to the Defence Ministry’s guidelines. With the revision, we can now start giving permission for construction and redevelopment.”
Local MP Parag Shah said, “The circular has been uploaded on the government site and the BMC will start implementing it immediately. This order has given relief to thousands of people. More than 90 projects will benefit from this in Ghatkopar alone. Parliamentarian Manoj Kotak has organised a meeting with residents in Ghatkopar on Tuesday to explain the order further.”