MbPT cuts BMC’s land demand down to size

  • Kunal Purohit, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 14, 2016 00:23 IST
Mumbai port trust is the city’s largest land owner. (Hindustan Times)

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) may want private landowners to open their No Development Zone (NDZ) land for its ambitious plan of creating affordable homes, but the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) may not be as keen. 

The civic body, in its process of revising the DP, demanded that the port trust, the city’s largest land owner, part with at least 140 hectares of land so that the city can get cheap homes and open spaces. But the port trust has shot down this demand and has now said it can only allocate 60 hectares of land for this purpose. 

However, the BMC , in a first, went ahead and marked amenities such as open spaces and social areas, on these MbPT lands anyway. 

 “Senior civic officials were in touch with MbPT officials, who conveyed they were not keen to part with such a large land parcel just yet. The port is in the middle of its own process to open up its land in a planned way and so was not keen on making such a commitment,” said a civic official, who did not wish to be named. 

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 While MbPT chairman Sanjay Bhatia was not available for a comment, sources in the port said the body was awaiting the shipping ministry’s nod. The Rani Jadhav committee , in December 2014, recommended that 1,000 of the total 1,800 acres that the port owns could be opened up in phases. However, its decision to not be a part of the civic body’s larger plan to create affordable homes will be a huge setback for the civic body.

 According to civic chief Ajoy Mehta, the BMC was hoping that the land comes back to the city. “We don’t know what the MbPT is planning to do, but the assumption is that the housing stock they create will come to the city.” 

 The civic body, meanwhile, said that it was keen on getting more land for the city’s amenities from the MbPT too. “We have planned amenities like open spaces and other social amenities on these lands and have told the MbPT that they must develop these,” said Ramanath Jha, officer on special duty in-charge of revising the DP.

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