The National Green Tribunal (NGT) stayed auction with immediate effect of the 25,138.86 sq m plot of land – the Seawoods tender plot 2A. Adjoining the NRI complex in Seawoods in Navi Mumbai, the plot partly falls under the CRZ-1A and CRZ-II. Admitting petitions from two sets of groups, the Western Zonal Bench of NGT asked CIDCO to stop with the tender process.
Reports suggest that the Bench has given three weeks for CIDCO to file the response and the hearing is expected to resume from September 28, 2022.
In addition to opposing to the e-auction, the petitioners have also asked the court to designate the plot 2A as open space, as mentioned in the NMMC Development Plan.
Previously, environmental activists in Maharashtra had written to the chief minister, expressing concern over the auction of huge CRZ plot via tender. Measuring 25,138.86 sq m adjoining the NRI complex in Seawoods, the plot partly falls under the CRZ-1A and CRZ-II. The plot has the hovercraft jetty and flamingo zones like TS Chanakya wetlands and DPS lake in the vicinity.
The Seawoods tender plot 2A that covers sector 54, 56 and 58 has an FSI of 1.5 and can fetch more than Rs 300 crore in the auction. Following the complaint, the Maharashtra chief minister’s office has directed the Ministry of Urban Development and the Environment Ministry to investigate the issue.
In its defense, CIDCO has mentioned a special instruction regarding the 2A plot at Nerul stating that:
- There is no restriction on sale/ auction of CRZ affected plots.
- As per the CZMP of 2011, approved in 2019, the plot partly falls in CRZ-IA and CRZ-II and the same is indicated in the marketing drawing.
- As per the CRZ provisions, plot no 2A is on the landward side of the existing road and there are no mangroves within the said plot.
- CRZ-IA area within the plot no 2A is falling in the mangrove buffer area and not within mangroves area.
- As per the court order and CRZ notification, statutory permissions have to be obtained from the competent authority, for development in CRZ areas.
CIDCO further mentioned that it would therefore be the responsibility of the allottee / lessee to take all necessary permissions from competent authorities for development in the CRZ affected area.
Tender plot 2A is part of the 16 plots floated for auction by CIDCO. Plot 2A is the largest land parcel in this auction which has a base rate of around Rs 1.17 lakh per sq metre and an EMD of around Rs 29.49 crore. The tender process was done on August 18, 2022 and the results were to be declared on August 22, 2022. The remaining 15 plots are spread across Vashi, Ghansoli, Kalamboli and New Panvel and range between 490.31 sq m to 3,870.22 sq m. An online auction for these plots will be held on August 4, 2022.