PUNE: The State government has decided to allow construction of hotels and resorts in the buffer zone spread over the area of five km around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries which are part of regional plans of several districts in the state including Pune.
According to the government notification, the conditional permission for such constructions will be given on plots meant for non-agriculture or non-development purpose. Experts claimed that this move is being taken to boost tourism around forests and to use the lands in the buffer zones.
With this notification in place, the government has suggested changes in regional plan as per Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act, 1966. Earlier, the government was considering allowing construction on 10 per cent of actual plot of the land.
The regional plans have been approved in 16 districts of the state. These districts have plenty of forest lands. Currently, no permission is given for construction of hotels or resorts in areas bordering national parks and wildlife sanctuaries or buffer zones. However, it has been observed that there were instances wherein illegal construction was seen on many land parcels in such zones.
To avoid such illegal structures mushrooming around the forest lands, the Urban Development Department seems to have announced this decision. The government has decided to allow construction on plots of more than one hectare. The construction can be done only on 10 per cent of the land of the plot. The government has decided to permit construction of ground plus one storey structure on these plots. The height of the construction has to be 9 metres or less.