In a decision that will give a major push to the state government´s plan to open up salt pan land for affordable housing, the western zonal council headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has asked for a master plan to be submitted for further approval. The Maharashtra government has for years been planning to open up land belonging to the Central government, including salt pan land and surplus land belonging to the Mumbai Port Trust and Railways for rehabilitating slum-dwellers. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his flagship scheme of ´Housing for All by 2022´, the demand was revived by the state, which set itself a formidable target of 18 lakh affordable houses.
The state government has told MMRDA to carry out a survey and give details of salt pan land in Mumbai city and its adjoining areas.
´In areas like Mumbai, availability of land is a major constraint for affordable housing. To meet the target set for the ´Housing for All´ policy, we will have to look at opening up such surplus land.