Mumbai: The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has floated a tender calling interested consultants to prepare a master plan of salt pan lands in Mumbai and metropolitan region. The last date for submission of documents is December 6 and the envelopes will be opened on December 10, 2019. The earlier deadline has been extended by another month.

Interestingly, the previous government led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had proposed housing projects on Mumbai's salt pan lands. The recommendation was made to fulfil the housing demands of citizens following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mission of housing for all, by 2022. However environmentalists had opposed the proposal as they believe exploitation of salt pans, which usually act as a flood plain during rainy season, will cause flooding in the city due to construction activity.

The state in 2015, had asked the MMRDA to prepare a master plan, a few surveys were also been carried out. However, till date no development on these lands was undertaken. The MMRDA officials believe with development plan 2034 already been approved and is in implementation stage, now preparing a master plan of these salt pan lands will be beneficial. In Mumbai, salt pans are in Wadala, Ghatkopar, Turbhe, Kanjurmarg, Bhandup, Nahur, Mulund, Malvani and Dahisar. The extended suburbs, such as Mira-Bhayander and Virar in Palghar district also has salt pan lands.

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Free Press Journal