Mumbai Port Trust likely to get go ahead to develop 1800 acres of its coastal land

MUMBAI:The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), one of the city’s largest landowners, is likely to be given a free hand to manage 1,800 acres of its land along the eastern coast. It may no longer have to commit to special reservations for affordable mass housing schemes. This would allow MbPT more elbow room to give a facelift to the eastern seafront and develop it as a tourist-friendly destination.

The draft development plan (DP) proposes to give incentives to plot owners in return for reservations for affordable houses. The draft DP proposes 10 lakh affordable houses across the city through such reservations over the next 20 years.

TOI had earlier reported that MbPT had refused to assign land for affordable housing saying it would prefer to rehabilitate the squatters on its land (see box). The state review panel, which recently heard suggestions on and objections to the draft DP, has accepted MbPT’s request to remove reservations. A source close to the development said, “The MbPT has agreed to rehabilitate existing slum dwellers on its land. This will be counted as affordable housing. It will also provide a portion of the land for public amenities. The panel has, thus, taken a decision to cancel all reservations marked in the draft DP.”

The MbPT, a Central government facility under the Union ministry of shipping, wants to develop the eastern waterfront by constructing tourist attractions. It has appointed a consultant to draw a plan for water sports, a walkway, gardens, convention centres, a marina, parking facilities and other public amenities.

The draft DP, though, posed a hurdle by marking specific reservations on the plot, to provide for affordable housing, setting up of a solid waste management utility and schools. MbPT chairman Sanjay Bhatia took strong objection to the draft DP and told the review panel that under the General Clauses Act, the port authority reserves all rights to prepare its own land use plan. He requested withdrawal of the reservations.

Sources said the panel made required changes to the draft DP. They are now in the process of making changes in the Development Control Regulations that govern the DP, to allow the MbPT to develop its land.

Credits ET Realty

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