Mumbai

Central PSU land in Mumbai to be used for housing

Severe land crunch necessitated need to look for alternatives

Surplus land available with the Central Public Sector Utilities (PSU) in Mumbai may now be used to construct houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) Mission.

The Centre has also asked Maharashtra government to submit a factual plan on the condition of salt pan land in the state and how it can be used for building houses to urban homeless to achieve the central government’s target of ‘Housing for All: 2022.’

The decision was taken in the 22nd Western Zonal Council meeting held in Mumbai on Friday. The WZC is comprised of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa along with Daman & Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli. The meeting was chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and attended by CMs of Maharashtra and Gujarat, Deputy CM of Goa, administrators of union territories, along with ministers from all states and centre and senior bureaucrats.

At a press conference after the meeting, Secretary of the council, Naini Jayaseelan said, “Considering the land constrain in Mumbai, surplus lands with central PSUs can be considered for the housing and they have been asked to identify the land and decision on this will be taken subsequently.”

Maharashtra Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshatriya said, “the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has been asked to study how much salt pan land is available, in the city, for what purpose it can be used, and what are the restriction under Coastal Regulatory Zone, (CRZ) notifications, what is the current land use, whether it has any encroachment,” he said.

When journalists pointed out that such a proposal has been making the rounds for years, Mr. Kshatriya said that the MMRDA will have to submit it’s report within one or two months this time.

Apart from the housing, the meeting also reviewed coastal security concerns of all States and UTs and also progress on the decision to set up a Central Marine Task Force.

Around 252 fishermen from Gujarat have been identified who are currently in the Pakistan jails. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has agreed to raise the matter with Ministry of External Affairs for the release of these fisherfolks.

The meeting also reviewed issuing of biometric identification cards to marine fishermen. “The progress has been satisfactory. Around 80-90% work has been completed and rest will be completed very soon,” said Ms. Jayaseelan. She added that as per discussion in the last meeting the review of number of new jetties being built for security purposes was taken. In Gujarat’s Dwaraka, National Marine Police Institute has been opened, while Maharashtra has completed coastal mapping.

Apart from these initiatives, measures such as setting up high definition cameras on high rises, preparation of guidelines for security of islands etc were also discussed in the meeting.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 4:51:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/article15655252.ece

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