Mumbai: The Adarsh society scam has now become a symbol for all that is wrong with the implementation of Coastal Regulatory Zone laws in Mumbai, and while activists have welcomed all the action on Adarsh-related corruption, they hope it won't end there.
Environmentalist Debi Goenka said, "It is an example that should have been set years ago, because there are many such buildings, some of which are even worse, where mangroves have been cleared, land reclaimed and buildings have come up".
In 2009 alone, the Maharashtra Coastal Regulation authority received 24 complaints for CRZ violations across the city and several Mumbai landmarks are now the subject of litigation.
Local authorities have not taken action on a PIL filed by Colaba Cuffe Parade residents in 2000. Incidentally, the PIL refers to violations in land around the BEST depot near Adarsh Society. Film financier Bharat Shah's under-construction building in Walkeshwar did not get coastal authority (MCZMA) permission and a Bombay High Court suit contends the building encroached upon a reserved plot. Shah Rukh Khan's Bandra home Mannat is embroiled in a legal battle for violating heritage construction norms in a CRZ area. A case heritage norm violation has also been filed regarding Mumbai's landmark Wankhede stadium. The Supreme court is hearing a case against Inox theatre at Nariman Point for violation of CRZ FSI norms.
And there is no telling how many cases have gone unreported.
Builders find sea facing properties so lucrative, that even despite the special consideration given to Mumbai in the new CRZ notification, they have asked for more leeway in slum redevelopment along the coast. In fact, citizens fear the worse is yet to come.
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