Mumbai (The HIndu): The new norms easing construction around defence establishments will apply to as many as 342 Army installations across the country, of which 16 are in Maharashtra. The security restrictions in respect of 193 defence establishment/installation have been brought down to a 10-meter buffer where construction will be allowed after a No Objection Certificate (NoC) from the Army. The previous limit was 100 meters.
According to senior government officials, the 16 establishments in the State include Kalina, Malad, Trombay, Ghatkopar, Wadala, Cross Island, Kandivali, Bhusawal (Jalgaon), Pune, Kirkee, Aundh, Khadakwasala, 15 MAG Aundh, Dehu Road (Pune), Kolhapur and Aurangabad.
However, 149 Army stations falling in the most sensitive border areas across the country will continue to have a 100m restrictive zone where construction will be allowed only after receiving an NoC. Senior officials said the existing restrictions shall apply up to 100m from the outer wall so as to “maintain a clear line of sight for effective surveillance”. Further, no construction or repair activity whatsoever will be permitted within the first 50m of the buffer. These are installations mostly bordering Pakistan, officials said. “In view of the large number of representations received from elected representatives to review the guidelines issued in 2011, which have led to public facing difficulty in construction on their own land, a decision has been taken to review the said guidelines,” a circular from the Ministry of Defence reads.
Last month, Maharashtra had asked the Defence Ministry to either compensate owners whose land cannot be developed on account of restrictions under the Works of Defence Act (WDA), 1903, or allow the State to relax rules related to defence NoC for construction projects. In line with the State’s ease of doing business policy, the government had communicated to the Defence Ministry that restrictions on development should apply only to notified areas outside the installations for which WDA or any other relevant Act have been applicable, and that “no restrictions would apply to other areas”. The government has also proposed to withdraw its circulars of 2010, 2015 and 2016, which are currently regulating issuance of NoC for development.
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