Maharashtra government seeks to redevelop slums on Juhu airport

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Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday held a review of slum rehabilitation schemes in the city.


MUMBAI: The state government wants to redevelop the slums on Juhu airport. “We want to propose to the union aviation minister that in return for giving us 50% of the airport land which is not required for aeronautical operations, we will give the Airports Authority of India (AAI) the other 50% of the land free of slums,” said housing minister Jitendra Awhad on Wednesday.


The proposal comes even as the state government in 2018 cancelled the reservation for an affordable housing scheme and restored the reservation for airport in the city’s Development Plan 2034.


Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday held a review of slum rehabilitation schemes in the city. The issue of rehabilitating slums on 8,334 acres of central government land in the city was also discussed.


In May 2016, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) had sought permission to carry out biometric survey on airport land. In two separate letters to the chief executive officer, SRA, the AAI consented for “doing a feasibility study on ex-situ rehabilitation of existing slum dwellers at Juhu airport.”


The AAI has been opposed to in-situ rehabilitation as “habitation in the vicinity of airport operation area impacts safety and security.” It has always maintained that ex-situ rehabilitation is the only way to overcome these important operation concerns pointing out that obstruction free land in and around the airport is an absolute necessity for safe and secure aircraft and helicopter operations which cannot be compromised.


Awhad said he would be meeting the aviation minister with regard to slum rehabilitation as the ministry had already granted in-principle approval for the rehabilitation of slums on the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International airport land.


The housing minister said the Cuffe Parade slum will now be jointly redeveloped by MHADA and SRA. “M/s Shapoorji and Pallonji who were to carry out the redevelopment have been served a termination notice,” said Awhad.


The government will also soon announce an amnesty scheme to restart 256 stalled schemes.