MMRDA Seeks Additional Clearances to Construct Metro Bhavan Inside Aarey Colony

MMRDA Seeks Additional Clearances to Construct Metro Bhavan Inside Aarey Colony
File Image. Not of the exact location

The proposed 32-storey Metro Bhavan building inside Aarey Colony is expected to go into construction soon. While the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has already received the environmental clearance or EC for the construction, the agency has now applied for a handful of other clearances for this structure. 

Reports suggest that the MMRDA has sought the conversion of around 20,387 square metres of land in Aarey from a no-development zone into a residential zone. Necessary approvals for the same have been requested from the Urban Development Department (UDD). However, the status of the approvals has not been confirmed yet. 

Further, the agency is seeking No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) from the Chief Fire Officer, Tree Authority as well as the Stormwater Drains Department (SWD). As of now, only the SWD has offered a NOC to the agency while the remaining permissions are currently listed as being in various stages of the approval process.

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In March, the MMRDA placed a proposal before the State Environment Department to get the required EC for the construction of the Metro Bhavan in Aarey. However, the EC has been deferred by the Environment Department citing a technicality.

The MMRDA has said that it will also require clearances from a monitoring committee that oversees the implementation of the December 2016 ESZ notification issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change in relation to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP). 

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While Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray stalled the construction of the Metro 3 car shed after being sworn in, the State’s stance on Metro Bhavan hasn’t been completely clear yet. It’s worth pointing out that the proposed land for the structure happens to be an eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) inside Aarey. 

Commenting on the state’s relative silence on the matter, D Stalin, director of the NGO Vanashakti said, “The stance seems quite clear now that various administrative nods for the project are being sought. MMRDA should first make public the minutes of the virtual public hearings from last year in which several citizens have voiced their objections to Metro Bhavan in Aarey [Colony]. The objections have to be acknowledged and responded to appropriately.”

ReadOnline Public Hearings For Proposed Metro Bhavan At Aarey Have Started

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