Guidelines for construction near Arthur Road prison eased
Until now, all construction activities within a 150m radius of the jail was banned. Under the new rules building activity will be prohibited only around a 20m radius of the prison boundary. An advisory committee will be appointed by the state government to clear building proposals being planned within a 500m radius of the jail. The committee will evaluate “security factors” in permitting construction, said an official.
The new guidelines will benefit developers, said a town planning expert. Several builders are keen to take up building projects and redevelopment schemes around the prison.
A high-profile construction project and some slum rehabilitation projects are being planned within the 150m of the jail boundary, said a source. However, jail authorities are against the state lifting the ban on construction near barracks as it could pose security risk to the premises. Currently, around 3,500 inmates are housed in Arthur Road jail, which has a capacity of around 1,100. More than 75% of the jails inmates are undertrials.