MUMBAI: The Supreme Court's direction to the Maharashtra government to remove "private forest" tag attached to huge land parcels across the state is likely to give a push to development of real estate in such vacant areas, according to real estate developers' body Credai.
"We are happy to hear this judgement as it will finally pave the way for development of forest land which has been lying vacant for years and most importantly regularise the homes of people living there," Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (Credai) Chairman Lalit Kumar Jain said in a statement here.
A three-judge bench of Justices R M Lodha, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph recently allowed petitions by Godrej & Boyce, Oberoi Constructions and a host of other developers as well as residents' bodies affected by the High Court ruling.
The new ruling will not just open up hundreds of acres of private forest land in the suburban Mumbai, but also pave way for developing more than 100 real estate projects and bring relief to nearly 5 lakh residents who faced the threat of losing their homes due to the Bombay High Court's verdict which upheld the state government's contention that these residents were encroachers.
"This verdict can also set a precedent for development of huge government owned land by such as the Railways, Bombay Port Trust, etc, which are being misused and illegally encroached by slum dwellers, should be freed for development," he said. Jain further said this verdict was a good learning for government which should make the process of approvals much faster and implement the single window clearance system.