Several property owners and developers around south Mumbai find themselves in a fix after the government increased the coastal buffer zone near Haji Ali by marking the shoreline as ‘sea’ in the official map. Earlier, the zone was described as a ‘bay’ under which no construction was allowed within a radius of 100 meters from the high tide line.
However, this limit has now been extended to 500 meters under the Coastal Zone Management Plan — a move that has put several residents and developers in a tight spot.
According to a report in the Indian Express, the move is likely to hit development projects of old housing societies and buildings within the 500-metre range. Some residents and representatives of an industrial estate have approached the Bombay High Court against the move. They claim that the state department had shown the same area as a ‘bay’ while seeking environmental clearances for the Coastal Road Project, the report said.
The report further said that Jaywant Industrial Co-operative Society Limited and the owners of some other buildings have filed a writ petition in the High Court against the decision. An official from the society has accused the authority of being inconsistent on the matter.
While speaking to IE, the official said that all government documents including clearances and tenders for the state-sponsored projects have shown this area as a bay but “for citizens, it is otherwise”.
“All government authorities have declared Haji Ali as a bay while referring to the Coastal Road project. Then why is this not mentioned accordingly in the CZMP? All permissions for coastal road project have been obtained by showing Haji Ali as a bay,” he said.
Among the buildings that will be affected are the ones that are close to the Heera Panna building and the ones that are closer to Mahalaxmi. The report said that principal secretary (environment) Anil Diggikar would comment on the matter only after studying the issue.