The City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) has cancelled the tender process of the controversial CRZ plot at Seawoods of Nerul.
Local residents and environmentalists had earlier objected to its sale-auction. Though the activists are happy over the latest development they claimed that Cidco must drop the idea of commercially exploiting the CRZ plot.
Navi Mumbai Environment Preservation Society (NMEPS) and a group of citizens, in separate petitions before NGT, had earlier challenged the tender process on the grounds that the plot falls within CRZ where construction activity is restricted. A thick patch of mangroves is located in close proximity to the plot and, in fact, part of the land is within the mangrove buffer zone, the joint application said.
Meanwhile, Cidco informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT), in its additional affidavit, that the auction was cancelled as the bidding offer received for the 25,139 square metre plot was far below the prevailing market rate.
Cidco has now submitted an undertaking to NGT that while re-tendering, the specific condition would be stipulated to the effect that the area which falls in the 50 meter mangrove buffer zone as outlined by the competent authority, the successful bidder shall not disturb the buffer zone and adhere to the provisions of law.
The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority(MCZMA) has also filed an affidavit with NGT affirming that the disputed plot partly falls under CRZ.
The MCZMA as well as the Environment Department has informed NGT that Cidco ought to obtain the CRZ map from the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), Anna University, Chennai.
NGT has directed Cidco to complete the process in a month’s time and submit a report on the mapping and also not initiate the re-tender process till the CRZ map is prepared. The final hearing is fixed for March 2.