Mumbai real estate: 5 locations that have restrictions on construction of property projects

Godrej Properties Limited (GPL), a listed real estate developer, was recently in the news after defence authorities raised objections to a housing project undertaken by it in Mumbai and demanded that construction work be halted. Defence authorities had red flagged the project, known as Godrej Reserve, as it was located close to the Central Ordinance Depot (COD) complex at Kandivali.

Godrej Properties Limited (GPL), was recently in the news after defence authorities raised objections to a housing project undertaken by it in Mumbai and demanded that construction work be halted (Representational photo) (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

The Godrej project is not the only project in Mumbai to have faced the heat from defence authorities. There are several localities in Mumbai where there are curbs on construction either due to presence of defence facilities or aviation signaling radars in the vicinity. In some cases, there are also environmental restrictions, especially in coastal regulation zones (CRZ).

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Godrej Properties’ Kandivali project issue

In a note to the Mumbai civic body, also known as Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the defence ministry had sought a ‘stop work notice’ against the project by Godrej Properties as it was located within 500 metres of the Kandivali area.

The defence authorities, in a note to BMC, had said that construction of up to a maximum of four storeys (ground plus three) is only permissible within a distance of 100 to 500 meters after obtaining a no objection certificate for the same from the defence department. Any construction activity within 500 meters radius from the perimeter wall of an army establishment without obtaining NOC from the defence department is contrary to the existing rule as envisaged in the guidelines.

“Hence, the construction by the private builder is an unambiguous violation of Government orders/guidelines and is therefore illegal,” the note had said.

Godrej Properties’ response

GPL has maintained that it has not received any communication from any concerned authority citing any non-compliance on its part.

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“We wish to submit that we have not received communication from any concerned authority citing any non-compliance on our part. As a responsible developer, all our projects commence post grant of appropriate and necessary approvals from concerned authorities. In case of project Godrej Reserve also, we have taken all requisite approvals from the concerned authorities for development of the project, and we are certain that all approvals related to the project are intact,” GPL said in a Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) filing on May 24.

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Areas in Mumbai where there are restrictions on construction activity

According to the government of India guidelines of May 2011, construction activities are not permitted within 100 metres radius of Defence Establishment perimeter wall.

Further, construction of up to a maximum of four storeys (ground plus three) is only permissible within 100 to 500 mtrs of distance after obtaining No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the same from the Defence Department. 

Kandivali and Malad

The Kandivali and Malad areas are in close proximity to the Central Ordnance Depot (COD) of the Defence Authorities and owing to this there are height restrictions in the vicinity. The redevelopment of several old buildings is also stuck in the two areas owing to these restrictions, developers active in these areas told HT Digital.


Owing to restrictions by Defence Authorities, redevelopment projects or revamp of old buildings worth around 20,000 crore is either stuck or has not take off in the Juhu area of Mumbai.

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The Juhu Wireless Affected Residents Association (JWARA), representing over 20,000 families in the Juhu area of Mumbai, had also written to the Mumbai Civic Body, also known as Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), for obtaining redevelopment approvals that have not come through for almost two decades.


Since January 2021, the Airports Authority of India’s (AAI) new construction height restrictions for 2-km radius around Dahisar toll naka area in Mumbai are in force, according to BMC officials. 

This has resulted in a reduction in allowable building height, which is impacting apartment redevelopment and new developments in certain locations. According to real estate developers active in the area, projects with a potential of almost 7,000 crore are stuck due to these height restrictions.

Ghatkopar and Colaba

The Indian Navy had imposed restrictions on constructions falling within 50 metres of highly sensitive installations. These projects continue to require an NOC from the Defence authorities. “The fall out of this is that we are not issuing permissions to developers for construction in vicinity of the Indian Navy establishment,” according to civic officials.


Owing to Coastal Regulations Zone (CRZ) norms, there are several restrictions on construction in place, especially in locations located close to the sea.  The CRZ norms were put in place to protect coastal ecology and environment. However, there have been amendments from time to time owing to redevelopment of old buildings in the city getting hampered. 

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In Mumbai, areas like Mahim, Charni Road are located close to the sea owing to which construction or redevelopment of several old buildings has remained hampered.

A civic official said, “The Central government had a year ago issued several relaxations on CRZ regulations after which redevelopment has picked up pace in areas of South Mumbai and Central Mumbai.”

This is what legal experts have to say

According to legal experts, the only way to resolve the issue of stuck redevelopment projects is to either relocate the residents or to relax the regulations.

“I would not say that things are really bad and all redevelopment is stuck, but yes there are a handful of cases where redevelopment of old buildings is affected. We have to understand that in cases of defence, aviation there are national interests involved. Also, these conditions have been in place for a long time and are not new,” said Nilesh Gala, a Mumbai-based lawyer.

“Courts cannot interfere in administrative decisions. But from a solution point of view, I feel the Central and state government can have a policy in place for project affected people (PAP) units. We can sit with people whose old buildings’ redevelopment work is stuck and see if they can be relocated into PAP units. Ultimately, we have to serve the purpose of both the parties affected and also keep national interests in mind.”

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