Mumbai, Feb 9 IANS | 8 months ago

Following an assurance by union Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh, residents in old and crumbling buildings in Mumbai's north-western suburbs see a ray of hope for their redevelopment proposals stuck due to the absence of a no-objection certificate from the defence ministry.

Minister Singh Saturday assured them that a solution would soon be found to their problems paving the way for redevelopment in the thickly populated Malad-Kandivli belt.

Singh, however, declined to make any formal policy announcement in view of the ongoing parliament session.

"I shall convene a meeting of all the stake-holders Monday. I shall inform Defence Minister A.K. Antony about the problems faced by the people here due to the ministry guidelines as a fall-out of the Adarsh Society scam," Singh assured.

Singh was invited by Mumbai North Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam to address the long-pending grievances of the people of the area after the MoD made its NoC mandatory for all types of construction projects within 500 metres of the Central Ordnance Depot located in Kandivli-Malad areas.

"Following the Adarsh Society issue, many genuine works have either been facing technical issues or been grounded," Singh admitted to the huge gathering of representatives of around 400 affected buildings Saturday evening.

Though the residents demanded a spot solution at the meeting, Nirupam assured them that a favourable solution would be worked out before the forthcoming Lok Sabha election.

"I am confident that the people will get justice before the elections. Despite being part of the ruling union government, I am prepared to fight against my government to voice the concerns of the innocent citizens who face hardships for no fault of their's," Nirupam said.

In Nirupam's opinion, the MoD clause should be made applicable only for any new construction and not to existing buildings.

In December 2011, the MoD made it compulsory for all buildings wanting to redevelop or for any new construction near lands owned by or in possession of the armed forces after the Adarsh Society scam broke out.

Nirupam pointed out that a majority of the affected buildings were constructed around 1970 and are now dilapidated.

The residents could not go in for redevelopment as no developer was willing to undertake the project in view of the MoD stipulations, while some projects were stalled mid-way.

The residents have pointed out that of 30 buildings which opted for redevelopment, 10 were already demolished, but work did not progress in the absence of the MoD's mandatory NoC.

Urging a solution to the issue on a priority basis, the residents said the delay has resulted in huge public inconvenience and made the projects financially unviable for the developers.

(Posted on 09-02-2014)

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