Mumbai: MMRDA seeks consultant to prepare master plan on salt pan lands

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority(MMRDA) is seeking a consultant for preparation of master plan of salt pan lands in Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region(MMR). The MMRDA Commissioner S.V.R Srinivas has called the tender. Interested agencies/consultants can submit their bids by August 23. The contract period of said work is for eight months.

Interestingly, the MMRDA in 2004 had been given additional status of implementing agency for the development of the city's salt pan land. In fact, even after passing 17 years it could hardly conceptulise and implement anything definite on these vacant salt pan land parcels.

A few years ago it had also carried out similar work of surveying and studing of these salt pan lands to check the feasiblity for building affordable housingg prohects. A report was also submitted to the then BJP-Shiv Sena led state government reportedly. In the previous report it was concluded that only a 25-acre plot was developable out of the total of the 5,300 acre. However, no progress was seen on it till date

The objective of developing vacant salt pan land for housing projects and other developments did not inch further till date owing to the contentious issues, such as the land-sharing formula between the centre and the state and ongoing litigation. For instance, as part of it, the Mumbai's only underground Metro Line 3(Colaba--Bandra--SEEPZ) proposed car shed at Kanjurmarg Salt pan land is also stuck due to centre's objection.

In Mumbai, salt pans are in Central Mumbai at Wadala, in eastern suburbs at Turbhe, Kanjurmarg, Bhandup, Nahur and Mulund and in Western Suburbs of Malvani, Dahisar. The extended suburbs, such as Mira-Bhayander and Virar in Palghar district has also salt pans.

Moreover, the state government is itself keen on unlocking these plots and provisions for the same were also made in the DP (development plan) 2034. The DP had earmarked 321 acres (130 hectares) of salt pans to be used for affordable housing reportedly.

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