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PIL challenges state’s cluster development schemes

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The Bombay HC asked Urban Development department of Maharashtra government to file an affidavit in reply to a PIL challenging the state’s scheme to allow cluster development

high-courtMumbai: The Bombay High Court today asked Urban Development department of Maharashtra government to file an affidavit in reply to a PIL challenging the state’s scheme to allow cluster development of areas in and around Mumbai.

The order was given by a bench headed by Justice Oka who asked government to file an affidavit by July 20.

Under this scheme, additional Floor Space Index is given for such areas where it is proposed to undertake cluster developments.

The state has proposed to allow such development in Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan, Mira-Bhayander, Virar, Dombivali, Bhiwandi, Ulhasnagar, Ambarnath, Badlapur, Palghar, Dahanu and Jawahar. All the corporations in these places have been made respondents.

The PIL, filed by Dattatray Dhond, a resident of Thane, contended that before implementing such a scheme, it was necessary for the authorities to conduct ‘Impact Assessment Study’ to determine the infrastructure needs of these areas.

With cluster development, necessary infrastructure such as roads, houses, gardens, open spaces, greenery, markets, schools, hospitals, amenities, shops and commercial establishments are required to be set up. Hence, it was essential to carry out “Impact Assessment Study’ of the areas.

The petitioner said he was not against the cluster development but he wanted a systematic development which would also fulfil the infrastructural needs of the areas where such projects were being undertaken.

For instance, he said, the city limits could be extended upto a particular place till planned infrastructure was developed in the area. In the next two decades in Navi Mumbai, a population of 28 lakh would be included and hence the load on existing infrastructure would increase. It was, therefore, necessary to plan additional infrastructure before allowing cluster developments in this city.

PTI

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