Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mumbai airport land clean-up gets underway

Mumbai: Pulled up by the Union Civil Aviation Ministry for the slow progress on the resettlement and rehabilitation of nearly 85,000 slum dwellers encroaching 276 acres of prime real estate, airport operator Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) is now taking up the issue on a war footing.
With the plane table survey of over 20,000 hutments complete, MIAL has approached the Mumbai suburban collector to determine who is eligible for rehabilitation. And late last week, the collector’s office began issuing notices—as per the Maharashtra Slum Areas (Improvement, Abolition and Rehabilitation) Act, 1971—to slum dwellers asking them to submit the requisite paperwork, within seven days of receipt.
Interestingly, January 1, 2000 has been set as the cut-off date — i.e, slums that came up on or before that date will be eligible for resettlement. However, “government clearance on the date is awaited,” said sources, but added it was only a matter of time since it was “in line with the last three infrastructure projects undertaken by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), like MUTP, MUIP, and the Mithi river cleanup.”
In fact, MMRDA, the nodal agency overseeing the airport rehabilitation, has 5,000 units in Ghatkopar and Mankhurd that will be used to re-house the first batch of eligible shanty dwellers, say sources.
14/02/07 Lekha Agarwal/Mumbai Newsline
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