In land-starved Mumbai, civic body to use dumping yards and wetlands for affordable housing
The BMC looks to develope areas near Deonar and Mulund dumping groundsUpdated: Apr 28, 2018 12:45 IST
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) Development Plan (DP) 2034 will use Mumbai’s wetlands, slum pockets and areas around the Deonar dumping ground as part of the 2,230 hectares of land parcels for construction, mainly for affordable housing and civic amenities.
Mumbai has a total of 3,734 hectares of Special Development Zone (SDZ) land. The DP has changed the use of these lands from No Development Zone (NDZ), which barred construction, to SDZ. The 2,230 hectares includes 130 hectares of salt pan that has been drawn from 721 hectares of such developable lands.
Areas under SDZ where construction will be allowed are wetlands in Mulund, Nahur, Kanjurmarg, Vikhroli, Madh, Marve and Borivli; open spaces around the Deonar and Mulund dumping grounds; and slum pockets in Deonar, Mankhurd, Sewri and Bandra.
The BMC will also free up salt pan lands between Vikhroli and Kanjurmarg, and in parts of Wadala.
Vivek More, deputy engineer of the DP department, said, “We do not know exactly which portion of the available Special Development Zone land and salt pan land we will use for affordable housing. Salt pan lands belong to the central government. When they decide to sell these lands for construction, 130 hectares is reserved for the BMC.” The proposal to open up NDZ areas for construction for development has evoked sharp reactions from environmentalists and urban planners.
“If wetlands are used for construction, Coastal Regualtion Zone (CRZ) rules will govern the activity. Currently, construction is allowed in CRZ- III. Similarly, if slum pockets are opened up, we will rehabilitate residents. In such a case, a floor space index (which decides how high the building can go) of four, allotted to affordable houses, will not be applicable to such plots,” said More.