Even as residents of dilapidated Cidco buildings continue to live under the fear of building collapse and are awaiting additional FSI for redeveloping their buildings, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, during a recent meeting offered, an FSI of 3 instead of 2.5. This, according to local leaders, is nothing but an attempt to "sabotage" the entire redevelopment process.
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Thane guardian minister Ganesh Naik, civic chief Abasaheb Jarhad and additional director town planning Prakash Thakur met Chavan in Mumbai and apprised him of ground realities in the satellite city.
According to a member, who was part of the delegation, "Chavan is adamant on giving FSI of 3, while we have demanded FSI of 2.5. However, this attempt on part of the CM is nothing but a move to stall the entire redevelopment process in Navi Mumbai. FSI of 3 won't stand in the court of law as no study has been undertaken to check feasibility of such a decision." He added, "Seeing the adamant approach of the CM over this issue, Pawar finally walked out of the meeting."
He added, "On the other hand, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) is asking for FSI of 2.5 for which it has carried out an impact assessment study and cleared the proposal in 2012. Meanwhile, Cidco's decision to implement 3 FSI is based on some erroneous and misleading study. It will ruin the entire process as it will get entangled in legal battle and residents of old buildings will suffer."
He said, "The decision of additional FSI in Navi Mumbai has been caught in a political tangle as the Congress does not want NCP to take the credit for this issue. It [Congress] wants to convey to Navi Mumbaikars that they are giving additional 0.5 FSI over what NCP-ruled NMMC has demanded."
The member added, "It is a deliberate attempt to give FSI of 3 so that it runs into legal hurdles and the entire redevelopment work is stalled, further delaying the agony of more than 75,000 residents who have been waiting for new homes for years now."
The redevelopment of dilapidated Cidco structures has been stalled for years as no real estate developer is willing to undertake redevelopment of these structures since it is not economically feasible with FSI of 1.5 for them.
Since Cidco is the owner of the land, apartments and housing societies have to take NOC from them if they have to undertake any redevelopment work.
Meanwhile, members of the Congress party have defended the decision of Chavan and Cidco for 3 FSI, saying, "The benefits of redevelopment should reach the tenant and the person who is living in that housing society and not to the real estate developer who is redeveloping it."