The development plan (DP) seems to have given the much-needed boost to the Mumbai Port Trust’s eastern waterfront project.
The six-member DP planning committee has recommended earmarking a special zone – port waterfront development zone – for the project. While the move paves way for the project, the authorities will have to get approval from the BMC, under the special provisions of the Development Control and Promotion Regulations.
Under the eastern waterfront project, the MbPT aims to develop 500 hectares between Wadala and Ferry Wharf. The project will include development of land for housing, educational amenities and develop the eastern seafront for tourism by creating marinas, promenades, public parks and cycling tracks, among others. Consultants have been appointed to draft the master plan.
Taking the suggestions and zonal demarcation plan of MbPT authorities into account, the committee has proposed two new zones -- port operational zone and port waterfront development zone. While the operation zone will solely be used by MbPT authorities, the waterfront zone will be meant for creation of amenities and housing for citizens living in MbPT areas.
The earlier draft DP showed a number of reservations and designations in MbPT areas. The MbPT did not want the amenities to be marked at specific locations on the DP map, so they could have flexibility while developing the areas. Agreeing with them, the committee has not marked the amenities, but has said they would be indicated in the development control and promotion regulations (DPCR). Doing so will make it mandatory for MbPT to make these amenities available while proposing development of the waterfront.
A senior civic officer said, “The government agencies did not want reservation, which we complied with. But they will still have to provide housing, education facilities and open spaces. Around 55 hectares of land will be used for affordable housing. MbPT, which are owners of the plot, can give it for housing on their own or can take help from the BMC for it.”
Sanjay Bhatia, chairman of MbPT, said “This is what we had asked for and we are happy that the planning committee has considered it.”