The Maharashtra government has entrusted MMRDA with the task of preparing a master plan for allocation of salt pan land in the city for low cost housing, after a proposal seeking the nod to unlock the stretch of land for the ambitious housing for all project by 2020 was mooted at a meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, where coastal security was also discussed.
The state government had sought to develop 2,177 hectares of salt pan land. The decision is part of the state government’s initiative to develop surplus land which has remained entangled in a land sharing dispute between the centre and state for the last 30 years.
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Joint secretary, home ministry, Naini Jaysaleem said, “Under the Prime Minister’s Awas Yojna, state governments were asked to identity surplus land which could be developed for low cost housing. The Maharashtra government has proposed unlocking of salt pan for housing and the centre is positive. The central government has asked Maharashtra to provide a detailed plan to take the project forward.”
Over the last three decades, the centre and the state had failed to arrive at a consensus on land sharing formula. The centre and the state, both of which have rights over the salt pan, have been confronted with multiple challenges arising out of coastal regulation zone, litigations and encroachments. Lease on part of the salt pan given on 99 years lease came to an end this year. The MMRDA, headed by the chief minister, has been told to complete the master plan within two months.
A senior officer said, “The primary note on salt pan development suggests the government can build 1.5 lakh houses on the stretch which does not come under any CRZ, mangroves or illegal encroachment.”
Under the Prime Minister’s housing scheme, Rs 1.5 lakh per tenament has been provided. The state government is contributing Rs 1 lakh, taking the total to Rs 2.5 lakh per tenament.
The state government is considering an FSI upto four for salt pan land.
The chief minister also raised issues related to unlocking of surplus land holding of defence and railway ministries with Singh to facilitate rehabilitation of project affected families in both centre and state driven infrastructure projects in Mumbai Metropolitan Region.