Dy. Director of Town Planning, Greater Mumbai,
ENSA Hutments, E-Block,
Azad Maidan, Mahapalika Marg,
Sub: Objection to proposed modification to DP-2034 for CTS No.589A(Part) of
Village Pahadi Goregaon (E), in P/South Ward, Mumbai, admeasuring approx 2.03 Hectares.
Ref: UDD Notice No. TPB-4318/454/CR-82/2019/UD-11 dated 06.08.2019
- The said Plot is a vacant tree covered plot falling under the naturally forested area known as Aarey. The said plot has a natural perennial rivulet that flows through it, which acts as a tributary to the adjoining Oshiwara River.
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- The said Plot CTS 589 has been erroneously described as a No Development Zone (NDZ) plot in your notice, by overlooking the fact that it is infact a plot designated as a Green-Zone (GZ) duly sanctioned under DP-2034 under EP-PS69.
- EP-PS69, as approved, clearly states that the original proposal to keep the Aarey Colony land as NDZ (u/s 26 of MRTP) has been proposed to be modified as Green Zone (u/s 30) & approved as Green Zone (u/s 31(1)).
- The provisions of Green Zone were added in the Development Control Regulations (DCR-2034) under approved modification No. EP-133.
Green Zone under DCR-2034 is defined as:
3.8 Green Zone (GZ)
It is a large area predominantly with green cover where following facilities may be permissible
- a) Construction of Zoo with FSI of 0.025;
- b) Uses approved by GoM with permission from the Ministry of Environment and Forest;
- c) Rehabilitation and Resettlement of the original inhabitants of the forest (adiwasis, tribals of Sanjay Gandhi National Park) as per the provisions of Regulation No.30 with Zonal (basic) FSI.
Note: - 1. Structures constructed in GZ, with due sanction of Competent Authority, before coming into force of these regulations stand protected.
- Reservation proposed in Green Zone if any shall be allowed to be developed at par with other zones subject to approval of the Competent Authority and subject to compliance of conditions as mentioned in the notifications issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, if any, as amended from time to time.
It is thus clear that no land use change can be proposed in Green Zone by Government of Maharashtra without prior permission of MoEF.
- The said plot also falls under the Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ) of SGNP duly notified by MoEF on 05.12.2016.
Para 2 of the said ESZ Notification states that the Government must approve the land use zonal master plan within a period of two years, which the Government has duly complied with by declaring the plot as Green Zone in year 2018.
Whilst declaring the said land use as Green Zone, the Government was well aware of the provisions of:
i) Para 3(1) of the ESZ Notification which prohibits the conversion of ESZ Land for commercial or industrial related development.
ii) Proviso to Para 3(1) of the ESZ Notification that prohibits the consequential reduction in green area.
iii) Paras 3 (2) & (4) of the said ESZ Notification that prohibits development work in a plot with a natural perennial spring/water body.
i.e. The Government has consciously declared the said plot as Green Zone in compliance with the provisions of the ESZ Notification, knowing fully well the prohibitions for future change in land use.
Infact, the Green Zone land zone has been approved in the year 2018 by the MCGM Municipal Commissioner himself, who is the Chairman of the Monitoring Committee set up for the purpose of effectively monitoring this very ESZ area.
- Furthermore, the said plot is Forest Land and is protected under the provisions of the Forest Conservation Act. The said land also falls under the Management of SGNP under the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act.
No land use change for the purpose of development can be permitted without prior approvals under the Forest Conservation Act & the Wildlife Protection Act.
- The provisions of (i) Green Zone under DP-2034 & DCR-2034, (ii) the ESZ Notification,
(iii) The Forest Conservation Act & (iv) The Wildlife Protection Act clearly provide for the procedures to be followed for, and the prohibitions on, land use changes.
What cannot be permitted directly under the current provisions of Law, cannot be permitted indirectly by taking recourse to Section 37(1AA) of the MRTP Act.
- It will not be out of place to state that MMRDA has Hectares & Hectares of its own vacant land all over Mumbai, which can easily be used to build a Metro Bhavan. There is no need to destroy a natural area for such purposes, when there is an abundance of vacant land already available. A Metro Bhavan can be built at any convenient location and there is no need to destroy Aarey for such purposes. It is the Government's statutory & Constitutional duty to preserve & conserve the areas of natural scenery, forest and wild life under S.14(f) & S.22(c)&(h) of the MRTP Act and under Articles 48A & 51A(g) of the Constitution.
9. You are therefore requested to reject the current proposal for change in land use zone.