Bombay HC issues notice to Centre over housing project near ordnance depot, ET RealEstate

September 4, 2023

MUMBAI: Bombay HC recently issued a notice to the Centre over objections raised against construction of a residential project in Kandivali and refusal to grant approval without NOC from officers at Commandant, Central Ordnance Depot (COD).

Sethia Infrastructure Pvt Ltd had filed a petition this year to challenge as “arbitrary, illegal, high-handed and discriminatory” acts of the Centre in objecting to proposed construction despite the project site being almost 80 metres away from the defence establishment.

The Centre’s 2016 circular poses restrictions only for 10 metres from a defence establishment, the developer said in his petition, adding that as his proposed construction is almost 80mt away, there is no question of prior NOC.

The authorities are not treating the petitioner builder equally alleged the petition pointing to approvals granted to other developers who are developing property within 500 metres of the periphery wall of the Kandivali complex of COD Mumbai. There is a violation of the fundamental right to equality, the petition alleges.

In May 2011, Union of India issued guidelines providing for NOCs from local station commander before grant of building permission for construction coming up within 100mt — for multi-storey buildings of over four storeys, the distance would be 500mt.

The security restrictions at 193 locations of defence establishments were till 10 metres from outer wall of such establishments as set out in a fresh 2016 circular, after builders and people pointed to difficulties faced in construction.

The petition said its property is within such 10-metre restricted zone and no NOC is needed. Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) issued a letter of intent in June 2022 to Sethia for construction in Kandivli and followed up the following month with issuance of a commencement certificate and approved a 40-storey tower plan.

In October 2022, the chief fire officer also granted NOC for the tower and the builder sold around 200 flats. But in December 2022, SRA said it received objections from the Major OIC Land & Legal for Commandant, COD, Kandivli, saying the project was within 100mt of a defence establishment and needs prior NOC.

In its order on August 29, HC issued notice for final disposal at admission stage to respondents and made it returnable on September 20. The Centre, Defence Ministry, SRA and others to file replies before the next date.

  • Published On Sep 4, 2023 at 09:16 AM IST

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