The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) on Wednesday held a meeting where the issue of Adarsh cooperative housing society was discussed. MCZMA chairperson and State Environment Secretary Valsa Nair Singh said a report would be submitted to Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh next week.
The Authority discussed the issue at length and examined relevant documents. It came to the conclusion that the case be referred to the MoEF for further action.
The Adarsh society, which learnt about the meeting from Wednesday's papers, submitted a one-page clarification, which was circulated to members of the Authority. The society clarified that the State government's Urban Development department sent a letter to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in 2003 where it was mentioned that there was no objection from the MoEF to the building. Besides, the State had the powers to clear this project, it said and the society had all the valid clearances.
The Adarsh society matter was discussed in the MCZMA for the first time. According to the amendment to the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules in 2002, all housing societies in the CRZ areas have to be cleared by the MoEF.
Later by another amendment in 2003, the power to clear projects costing above Rs. 5 crore was vested with the Centre alone.
However, the MoEF has already clarified that it did not accord any clearance for Adarsh. According to the law, Adarsh should have applied to the State environment department, which would have taken up the matter with the MCZMA and made a recommendation to the Centre.
Interim report sent
The MoEF last week wrote to the State Environment department asking for all the documents related to the Adarsh case. The department has already sent an interim report to the MoEF clarifying that it did not get any application from Adarsh for CRZ clearance.
Navi Mumbai airport
The other major issue on the agenda was the proposed Navi Mumbai airport, which looks set to be cleared next week when the Expert Appraisal Committee meets in New Delhi.
The MCZMA gave approval to the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO)'s revised plan, which was a formality. The plan reduces the distance between the runways and also creates the Waghiwali lagoon as a construction-free zone and as an area for replanting mangroves. As per the revised plan, only 99 hectares of mangroves will be affected now and around 45 families will be moved from Waghiwali village, which will be promoted as an eco-tourism zone.
The issue will be taken up on November 10 when the EAC is expected to accord final clearance.
A meeting on November 11 will also discuss the re-classification of the Navi Mumbai area and the land zoning and approve the changes, official sources said.