The revamp of thousands of residential structures stuck because the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) lacks a redevelopment policy is set to get a state push. The Maharashtra government has initiated talks with the MbPT on the issue.
At present, 1,300 residential structures on the port land from Colaba to Wadala are in a dilapidated condition. However, the redevelopment is stuck as the MbPT does not give no-objection certificates (NOC) to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) or the builders, thanks to the absence of a revamp policy.
“As the land is owned by the MPT, we need their NOC for redeveloping the structures. Now that we have our own government at the Centre, the matter will be solved soon,” said Ravindra Waikar, state minister for housing.
The body owns a total of 1,800 acres of land in the eastern seafront. More than 1.50 lakh people live in the 1,300 MbPT buildings. These are mainly cessed structures, whose maintenance is taken care of by the Mhada repair board. In case of dangerous structures, Mhada issues notices to the residents and shifts them to transit camps.
According to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, Narendra Rane, the transit accommodations have become a permanent homes for many who have shifted. “These transit accommodations are mainly in suburbs. The bad conditions of these transit homes have dissuaded many from leaving their dilapidated houses,” said Rane. “Till the MbPT frames a policy, there is no hope for the residents.”
The MbPT, which is controlled by the central government, still has no redevelopment policy. For years, the residents have been deprived of shifting to bigger houses in new structures owing to the absence of this policy.
350 acres for low-cost houses:
1) The MbPT land stretches from Colaba to Wadala in the island city
2) The body owns 1,800 acres of prime land in the island city
3) After most of the port activities shifted to Nhava Sheva, business at MbPT slowed down considerably
4) The state government has asked for 350 acres of MbPT land for creating low-cost houses
5) Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari had appointed a MbPT land development committee to recommend the usage of this area
6) The committee has suggested building various recreational structures such as international cruise terminal, cultural centre, water sports activities, floating restaurants and bird sanctuary, among others, on this land.