Mumbai: For the last three years, the Mumbai Port Authority (MbPA) has been waiting for the final approval from the Maharashtra government for its draft development plan (DP).
A senior port official, who did not wish to be named, said that they have been sending reminder letters to the state, however, so far no reply has been received.
The MbPA official, however, refrained from giving more details, perceiving that it has now become more a state vs Centre matter.
It is to be noted that recently the Central government rejected a proposal put by the state government related to the Sewri Bombay Development Directorate (BDD) chawl redevelopment. These century-old structures are in a dilapidated condition.
The Central ministry refused the proposal on the basis that there is no enabling provision under any existing policy to enact this proposal in its present form. Following which, a controversy erupted between State and Centre.
According to the MbPA, the draft DP plan comprises 360 hectares, of which 75 percent will be used for creation of open spaces, gardens and ancillary activities.
At present, 100 per cent of port land is being used commercially. Under the new plan, a large part will go back to the city. The authority had obtained close to 950 objections, it added.
Meanwhile, the MbPA had received a lot of criticism from town planners, urban development experts, and environmentalists over too much emphasis being given on commercial development and reclamation. Also, in the draft plan, enough land is not reserved for housing.
The authority defended themselves saying that once approved and implemented, this drfaft DP can give nearly 20,000 slum dwellers permanent houses at free of cost.