Government housing for poor may get CRZ exemption

News Posted - 2010-03-08

The Environment Ministry is planning to exempt coastal housing projects for the poor built by the government agencies from the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) regulations.

The new regulations are based on recommendations of States and the report of Dr M S Swaminathan Committee on Review of Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 1991.

The committee had recommended the exemption for the weaker sections and the Ministry is expected to make an announcement in this regard by mid- April.

Mr Jairam Ramesh, Union Minister of State of Environment and Forests, at a press conference here on Saturday, said that he fully subscribed to the committee's recommendations.

“If at all flexibility has to been given to CRZ it should be for public sector housing for economically weaker sections, those are the words of the committee,” he said.

Mr Ramesh said that the Ministry was also waiting for the views of Maharashtra Government on the exemption.

On environmental clearance for the Navi Mumbai airport project, which is mired in CRZ issues, Mr Ramesh said that the terms of reference for conducting the environment impact assessment (EIA) for the project was issued in August 2009.

The site is environmentally sensitive due to a stretch of mangroves. Further, the course of a river needs to be altered.

An Environment Ministry team which visited the site had submitted its findings in January 2010.

The team has asked the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO), the developer, for additional terms of reference relating to the environment impact assessment.

The ball was now in CIDCO's court, as it has to submit the EIA to the Ministry, he said.

Source: BL 7/3/10

Realty firms concentrating on affordable housing: Selja

PANAJI: After the prick in real estate boom, the industry is now looking at construction of affordable housing as the next alternative, Union

Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Tourism Kumari Selja said today.

"The real estate boom saw the private players to go in for construction of high income housing facilities. Now the market realities have forced these people to look at affordable housing construction facilities," Selja said.

On the sidelines of a tourism event, the minister told reporters that the ministry has always laid emphasis on affordable housing. "We have been urging states and private sector to conceive models providing affordable housing," she said.

The Minister said that the recent CRDAI national convention also had 'affordable housing' as its theme.

Source: ET 6/3/10