Rahul Shewale’s statement on using salt pans for rehabilitation creates unrest among citizens’ groups

Published - May 13, 2024 01:49 am IST

Dharavi slum

Dharavi slum | Photo Credit: NIHARIKA KULKARNI

A citizens’ group from Mumbai on Sunday wrote to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde raising concerns over Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale’s recent comments on providing temporary rehabilitation for the residents of Dharavi, one of the largest slum clusters in Asia, on salt pan land in Wadala.

In the letter, which was also marked to Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner Bhushan Gagrani and Chief Secretary Dr. Nitin Kareer, Watchdog Foundation highlighted the environmental concerns over utilising salt pan land for rehabilitation.

“We fail to understand why there is no provision for in-situ rehabilitation during the construction phase in Dharavi. The proposed rehabilitation on salt pan land poses significant risks and could be detrimental to the safety and well-being of Mumbaikars due to ill-planned development,” the letter said.

Advocate Godfrey Pimenta, who has been raising awareness about the sensitivity of salt pan land since 2015, said, “By 2070, Mumbai is projected to have over 11 million residents in areas susceptible to flooding, significantly increasing the population at risk. The accelerated pace of sea-level rise observed in recent years further underscores the urgency of addressing this issue.”

He added that it is imperative to prioritise measures to mitigate this risk and ensure the safety and security of residents.

‘Reconsider proposal’

Considering these concerns, the citizen’s group is urging policymakers to reconsider any proposals to utilise salt pan land for housing developments.

“Instead, we request that the municipal authorities explore alternative solutions for rehabilitation that prioritise the safety and well-being of our citizens, considering the long-term impacts of sea-level rise. We expect that all politicians and officials will act with responsibility in addressing these concerns,” the letter stated.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.