Maharashtra plans to use buildable salt pan lands for rehabilitation & redevelopment
Publish on : 2023-03-08 19:56:24
Unless we use them for rehabilitation or Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, we will not be able to speedily develop SRA projects or achieve other rehabilitation projects in Mumbai, said deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis
MUMBAI: Unless the buildable unnatural saltpan lands are not utilised by applying all sustainability and environment norms, we will not be able to achieve a fast rehabilitation and redevelopment of slum-occupied lands across the city, said deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday while expressing his government's resolve to build a consensus on releasing usable saltpan lands that were locked by government in 1991 as non-develop zones (NDZs) due to limited scope for urbanisation.
"Since there is a huge scope for planned rehab, we will have to build a consensus and take a policy decision as all salt pan lands are not natural areas. Some of these are buildable. Unless we use them for rehabilitation or Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, we will not be able to speedily develop SRA projects or achieve other rehabilitation projects in Mumbai. It is very clear that if we do not properly utilize salt plan lands, Mumbai's redevelopment will be impossible," he said while replying to an attention motion on slum rehabilitation on defense and other plots raised by Anil Parab, Pravin Darekar, Sachin Ahir, and Prasad Lad in the state legislative council.
"In North Mumbai, majority of slums are on forest land which cannot be properly developed due to stringent forest norms. We will have to shift some of them to saltplan lands. And to avoid politics or environmental conflicts surrounding use of these unnatural saltpan lands, a consensus will have to be built among all the stakeholders. Those saltpan lands which are not natural or developable, can be used by applying all sustainability or environment norms to speed up Mumbai's stalled development," he added.
"Thus, this buildable NDZ can be converted to housing. For this, we all have to take the initiative if at all we want to achieve a speedy progress of Mumbai. Government has already initiated efforts in this direction," he said.
Similarly, Fadnavis said government has achieved a breakthrough in development of slums around the airport.
"We recently had a meeting with civil aviation ministry which has in-principal agreed for an in-situ development of slums around airport. This will eventually benefit the airport which will get enough land around its premises to secure its establishments," he pointed out.
"The major block to rehabilitation is on railway-owned land where the supreme court has opposed the rehab. Though the Centre is positive on cooperating the state on this issue, we have to decide on whether to approach SC again or not or how to go about it," he said pointing out that for SRA schemes on slum-occupied defense lands in Mumbai, government is negotiating with the defense ministry a proposal to offer additional land outside Mumbai such as in Navi Mumbai. "We can offer a huge land to defense towards Navi Mumbai which has come closer due to upcoming Nhava-Sewri sea link," he pointed out.
"As per defense formula, a 50% of the land is to be returned to defense after bringing their existing slum-occupied land such as at Santa Cruz-Khar under a rehabilitation scheme. Since the scope of rehab housing is big, state cannot return 50% component at a single plot. We have requested government to allow us to offer them land around Mumbai or beyond in leu of their lands in Mumbai," he said assuring a major decision soon in this regard. We have also requested the defense establishments to help relax their norms for construction around their non-sensitive areas such as sports clubs or recreational areas, he added.
Meanwhile, he said chief minister Eknath Shinde would soon clear the schematic plan of development of BPT (Mumbai Port Trust) land on the eastern waterfront of Mumbai. The plan has been designed as per the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's suggestion to create open green spaces along Mumbai, he pointed out. He said government would also welcome the old buildings of LIC and other establishments under the redevelopment project as legislators pointed out that there were 1500 such old buildings of LIC, SBI and other establishments across Mumbai.