State’s Ports Department wants the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) to return the land that was given to the port trust.
State Port Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said the Maharashtra Maritime Board (state body that monitors maritime services) has been asked to check how much of its land was given to the MbPT and how much of that could be taken back.
The trust has 1,800 acre land on the city’s eastern waterfront. “The land on which MbPT now stands, once belonged to the maritime board which was leased out to them for a certain period of time. Now we are planning to ask them to return the land,” Vikhe Patil told Hindustan Times.
On Tuesday, HT reported of a letter sent by Vikhe Patil to Union Shipping Minister G K Wasan in which he suggested they should consider shifting the MbPT outside the city limits.
The entire 1,800 acre area is as big as 30 Nariman Points, running along 14.5 km of the city coastline from Colaba to Wadala, which Vikhe Patil feels is an answer to the city’s problems regarding lack of affordable housing for the growing population and crumbling infrastructure.
The port department has written a letter to the maritime board asking them to look into old records and see what the lease agreement details were since they were signed up few decades ago.
Vikhe Patil adds that when the environment clearance was given for the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in the 1980s it was given on the assurance that the activities of the MbPT will be slowly reduced and the land will get reverted to the citizens for public access and open spaces development.
“Considering all this, we will look at ways in which this can be worked out for the benefit of Mumbai,” he said.