Last month, MahaRera issued a registration certificate to a project called ‘Infinite Residency’ proposed by developer Mistry Constructions at Navi Mumbai.
“You are requested to kindly withdraw the above registration immediately before any third-party interest is created in this project,” said Sunil Agarwal, a local resident, in a letter to the authority.
Agarwal had earlier dragged the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) to court for allowing construction on wetlands. Cidco claims these water bodies are not wetlands.
When contacted, a MahaRera official said the project was registered based on permissions granted by Cidco. “Cidco passed the building plans and sanctioned a commencement certificate. The complainants can file an objection with us if they can prove that the registration has been obtained fraudulently,” he said. The official said MahaRera in the past has cancelled registrations of several projects for submission of incorrect information.
In November 2017, the Wetlands Grievance Redressal Committee had stopped dumping of soil in wetlands in this specific area. In April 2018, the Bombay high court asked for removal of dumped soil from the same pockets after an inspection by Jayrame Gowda of the state Mangroves cell.
“In January 2020, the environment minister himself stopped work in these pockets when more than 700 trees were cut,” the official said .
Three years ago, TOI had reported on a golf course and a residential project planned on a large water body surrounded by mangroves next to the NRI Seawoods Complex in Nerul. It sparked outrage among residents and environmentalists.
Cidco’s controversial plan to award the 35.5-hectare project—the size of four Oval Maidans—to the builder was later challenged in the high court, which struck down the project.
The high court order had also directed Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation and the state to preserve mangroves, wetlands and lakes in the satellite city. The order came on two PILs filed by Navi Mumbai Environment Preservation Society (NMEPS) and local resident Sunil Agarwal. They had sought protection of lakes, wetlands and mangroves.
Subsequently, Cidco and Mistry Construction Company Pvt Ltd filed an appeal in Supreme Court, which stayed the high court order. “The SLP is pending for hearing,” said activists.
Local sources said the value of the plot is in excess of Rs 400 crore.
“Out of 35.55 hectares integrated golf course project, 34 hectares are wetlands. It is pending before Supreme Court, and still the project is being allowed to go ahead in a balance area of approx. 2.5 hectares,” they said.
Said environmentalist D. Stalin: “This registration is in complete disregard of the orders of the high court and Supreme Court, which have expressly banned reclamation of wetlands and construction on them.”
TOI tried to reach out to the developer, but the firm could not be contacted.