Congress legislator from Vile Parle, Krishna Hegde, wants the University of Mumbai to sell 20 acres of its land to builders to rehabilitate the slumdwellers.
Hegde said the university has one of the largest land parcels in the suburbs, which could be utilised to rehabilitate 45,000 slum dwellers of his constituency. Various slums in areas such as Samrat Ashok Nagar, Shastri Nagar, Sanjay Gandhi Nagar and Sambhaji Nagar are going to be cleared for the international airport modernisation drive, Hegde said.
“This unutilised land should be sold at market price and the entire amount should be pumped back into the education sector,” Hegde said. “This will also help serve society.”
He said slum dwellers on airport land are facing an uncertain future because they do not know where they are going to be moved and shifting them on university land will alleviate their woes. Sachin Ahir, state minister for housing, refused to part with the land for resettling slum dwellers. “We cannot allow slum rehabilitation schemes on an university land,” said Ahir.
The university has 252 acres in its kitty out of which only 50 acres have been utilised. Academicians have strongly opposed the commercial use of university land saying it can be used only for educational purposes.
In the last few years, members of the university senate have struck down proposals to construct buildings on university land and build commercial spaces that can then be leased.