The Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, on 15th July 2019 approved in principle the revenue department’s proposal to treat a foreshore portion on the seaward side of the High Tide Line (HTL) in the Nepean Sea Road area as revenue land . This piece of land is a part of the Arabian offshore in South Mumbai.
In the latest coastal zone management plan of Mumbai, which was approved by the Centre on 16th August 2018, this particular land is located in the inter-tidal zone and hence the proposal was drafted for it to be officially declared as revenue land .
The Union Environment Ministry, in its latest CZMP for Mumbai, placed the foreshore portion in the ecologically sensitive coastal regulation zone-IB, where no construction or development can be undertaken with the exception of foreshore facilities like ports, harbors and jetties among others.
Fadnavis in his statement said, “The government has only given in-principle approval to survey the foreshore land and to give cadastral survey number to the land parcel determined as a result of the survey. The government letter to the Mumbai Collector in this regard is limited to this in-principle approval only. The development ability of the land parcel shall be subject to CRZ laws and Mumbai’s development regulations. A NOC from the environment department had been obtained before giving the in-principle approval. There is no illegality or favoritism done.”
Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) Manu Kumar Srivastava told a leading newspaper, “We have just labelled the portion as land. It is for the competent authority to independently decide whether the land is developable or not.
It was also observed by the news reporter that a slum pocket, measuring about 21,528 sq ft and comprising 100 shanties, had come up on the land, the letter stated that a proposal for in-siu redevelopment of the slum dwellers was given to a private developer- DLPL Infrastructure LLP.
The developer stated that the proposal was submitted to the Slum Rehabilitation Authority but it had not progressed further as the land survey number had not been given.
In addition, the environment department, too, said that the land in question was a foreshore. It reasoned that under CRZ regulation, no development or construction was possible. The developer, meanwhile, maintained that the land was situated in the less restrictive CRZ-II zone.