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State asks Centre to free up salt pan land for housing

Maharashtra has requested the Centre to act swiftly on freeing up land including the salt pan tracts which could be used for construction of affordable homes in Mumbai under the ‘Housing for All project-2022”. The Centre has in turn asked the State to provide a list of available land it needs for construction of nearly 11 lakh affordable homes in Mumbai, including 5,379 acres of salt pan land in Mumbai alone. Several other key issues were discussed in a meeting of central government officials and chief secretaries of western Indian states including Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat, who met in the Mumbai on Thursday.

Maharashtra has been demanding large swathes of salt pan land for completing its grandiose plans for constructing 11 lakh affordable homes in Mumbai. The state revenue department has already submitted a report to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis pointing out that only 50 acre of salt pan land is usable. “But most of the salt pan also falls under the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) rules and we have been demanding at least 600 acres of this land be removed from under the CRZ,” said a senior official.

In the meeting on Thursday, it was found the salt pan is feasible for construction of affordable homes. Maharashtra must send its land survey report at the earliest, the central government officials demanded. Among other issues discussed were speedy construction of roads around the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), improvement of trauma care centres, and tackling of diseases such as malaria and dengue.

The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Sumit Mallick, his counterpart from Gujarat, J.N. Singh, Secreatry, Union Home Ministry R. Bhuril, among senior officials of the government departments.

“We also informed the Centre about work completed in linking Adhaar, which has near completion rate of 95% and steps taken to control malaria,” said a senior official.


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