BMC-MHADA land swap: Shiv Sena defers proposal for mill workers’ housing, says land must be inspected

Mumbai: The Shiv Sena-led improvements committee of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) deferred the crucial proposal for exchange of lands for the housing of retrenched mill workers on Thursday. The proposal was to acquire six parcels of land, totalling 3,873 sq metres, for open spaces and gardens from the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), in exchange for a plot of land, 3,660 sq metres in area, for the construction of houses for mill workers.

“It is important to conduct an inspection before approving the proposal. We have arranged an inspection on February 13. The BMC has confirmed that land parcels are not encroached. Besides, it should be feasible to convert these into gardens and open spaces,” said Dilip Lande, Shiv Sena corporator and the chairman of the standing committee. Lande also blamed the administration for “wrong measurements of mill lands and we demand an answer before the House for this mistake, within a week.”

But calling this as politics over mill-workers’ land, the Congress blamed the Sena for being unsympathetic. “The Shiv Sena has no sympathy for the mill workers of Mumbai. This topic is being discussed since 2015, but no action has been taken for the last four years,” said Congress corporator Ashraf Azmi. The Sena would have passed the bill, if there was a builder involved, he added.

The Congress also demanded a portion of the land to be used for housing people from lower-income groups and the economically backward sections. However, the committee was adjourned abruptly by Lande. The mill lands (for building gardens and recreational spaces) under consideration by the BMC are those belonging to Mafatlal, Matulya, Hindustan Mill units A and B, Victoria, Hindustan (Crown Mill) and MSTC. In return, the BMC will give the MHADA the Western India Mill land of 3,660 sq m to for the construction of houses for mill workers.

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