THE PLAN to construct affordable homes on salt pan land has received a setback with only 150 acres identified as having potential for development, according to a report submitted by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to a high-powered committee last month.
The previous BJP-Shiv Sena government had in 2018 entrusted the MMRDA to survey salt pan land for possible development. It was then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ plan to open up salt pan land parcels in the city and Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) to achieve affordable housing targets. According to MMRDA records, 5,300 acre of salt pan land are currently available in Mumbai and MMR.
The MMRDA survey, submitted to the committee headed by senior IAS official Manu Kumar Shrivastav, has found a few suitable pans. “Only plots close to eastern highway areas Nahur, Bhandup, Kanjurmarg, Mulund and Wadala have the potential for development. These plots are dry. However, plots in Thane, Malvani, Mira Road, Dahisar and Virar are still producing salt,” a senior official said.
Town planner S C Deshpande told The Indian Express that the report has been submitted to the committee. Deshpande said that as per the survey report, 150 acre has the potential for development but a big chunk of this is owned by the salt commissioner under the Union government, while some land parcels are owned by the state and private owners. A 2016 MMRDA survey of salt pan land had concluded that only a 25-acre plot was developable out of the total of the 5,300 acre.
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