Around 3000 families relieved as Maha govt tweaks defence NOC norms

MUMBAI: An estimated 3,000 families living around the sprawling army’s central ordnance depot in Kandivli and Malad can finally heave a sigh of relief.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis told media on Wednesday a government resolution (GR) will soon be issued, lifting the virtual ban on redevelopment of housing societies around the depot. TOI had highlighted this humanitarian crisis last month.

It is learnt that the defence ministry will now insist on only a 10m restriction. A defence establishment circular in the wake of the Adarsh housing society imbroglio, stipulated that the local military authority (LMA) issue a no objection certificate for any construction near such land. Thousands of mainly lower middle-class families living in old buildings found themselves in a bind because the LMA refused to give permission for redevelopment. “The advocate general has said the defence circular must be withdrawn,” said Fadnavis. BJP MP Gopal Shetty raised the issue in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday . “Defence minister Manohar Parrikar is expected to give a letter, putting minimum restrictions on construction activity around the depot,” said Shetty.

“The BMC does not move unless there are directions from the state and the centre,” he said, adding that the state government resolution will amend an earlier circular, which put severe restrictions on construction. “With the clarification from the centre, 95% of the problem will be resolved,” said Shetty . Last week, Shetty wrote to Parrikar, stating that residents in his constituency were suffering since the past six years due to the “illegal” circular.

Krunal Goda, who represents Central Ordnance Depot Sufferers Association, said the immediate task would be to redevelop 32 buildings, which are in bad shape. “These buildings have around 1,500 residents, who are part of the Kandivali Ashok Nagar Residents’ Association,” he said. Goda along with some residents has compiled a list of around 50 housing societies and 3,000 families, who vacated their homes for redevelopment some years ago, but are stranded and without a roof because of the defence objection. Their buildings were demolished, but developers halted work and stopped paying rent to the dishoused families for alternative accommodation.

Credits ET Realty

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