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Thursday, 22 August, 2013, 12 : 00 PM [IST]

Govt approves plan to develop Manori-Gorai-Uttan belt for tourism

The plan to develop to Manori-Gorai-Uttan in Mumbai as a tourist hub has finally been approved, as per a TOI report by Clara Lewis. The notification is to be issued through an extraordinary gazette this week, said officials at the Urban Development Department. After the idea was first mooted, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) was appointed as a Special Planning Authority (SPA) in 2004. MMRDA was replaced by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) in 2007 and redesignated as SPA in 2008. It will continue to sanction all building plans in the region.

As part of the plan, an 18 km-long enclave will be made accessible to the public by a five km coastal road restricted to the beach area. It will give an impetus to tourism by allowing resorts and tourist activities in green zones as well. “The road will be on the lines of Marine Drive—the sea, road and then habitation. This is to ensure that the public has an unrestricted access to the seafront,’’ said Uma Adusumalli, Chief, Planning, MMRDA.

“The infrastructure of the region will be developed jointly by the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation), the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) and MMRDA,” she informed. Gorai and Manori are under the BMC while the other villages are under MBMC.

For constructing the road, the government will acquire land from private land owners by offering transfer of development rights, which can be used only in the notified area. There is no mention of casinos or a special economic zone in the development plan, she said. A bridge connecting Madh-Marve to Manori will be constructed along with another bridge near the dumping ground to the other side of Gorai. The 20-metre arterial road will be widened to 30 metres and will connect to the Manori Bridge as also the coastal road.

The Manori-Gorai-Uttan area has more than 60 water bodies. Seven large water bodies have been identified to be developed for recreation purpose. An area of five metres around the water bodies will be developed as gardens and no construction will be allowed in this range. A minimum Floor Space Index (FSI) of 0.1 to a maximum FSI of one will be permitted in the region. An FSI of one will be allowed in the gaothans and in the expansion areas. Resorts will be allowed an FSI of 0.3. In the new development areas, along with an FSI of 0.3, an additional 0.2 will be allowed. This is largely for the benefit of locals, said Adusumalli. In the green zone, the FSI will be 0.1 and an additional FSI will be allowed by way of TDR or by paying a premium. Only ground plus one structure will be allowed in the area where the FSI is low. For gaothans, it will be two-storey structures.

Earlier the MMRDA had divided the area into tourism development zone I and II. These have been merged into a single tourism development zone. The preservation zone that included peaks and hill slopes has been merged into the green zone. Here, the MMRDA will allow paragliding, camps, treks, shacks and so on. Residential and commercial activities, too, will be allowed.

Around 65 per cent of the area is under CRZ I and III. All CRZ I areas, including mangroves, are to be preserved as per CRZ 2011 notification. The No Development Zones will be maintained as such and activities permitted by the Union government such as construction of a jetty or laying of pipelines. Only fishing and allied activities will be allowed along the coast.
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