With a BJP government assuming office in Maharashtra, the new state government and the Centre are set to unveil one of the biggest showcase projects for the country’s financial capital Mumbai with plans for developing 1800 acres of defunct port trust land along the city’s eastern coastline. According to sources, the Central government will amend the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963, so as to allow the MbPT to diversify its activities beyond port operations to include land development. The amendment will also make way for setting up a Mumbai Port Land Development Authority (MPLDA) that will be in-charge of actualizing the conceptual plans sketched out by the panel. The under-utilized 28 km-long stretch of land, from Colaba to Wadala in South Mumbai, is the largest land mass to made available for development in densely populated and land-starved Mumbai since it lost out on an opportunity to capitalize on 600 acres of erstwhile mill land plots more than a decade ago. “If port operations are rationalized as per the ministry’s suggestions, it will free anywhere between 1200 and 1400 acres of land in Mumbai,” said a panel member. The Union minister is believed to have agreed to most of the options presented by the panel in its draft report. The panel’s suggestions includes creating a Bus Rapid Transport System, Metro rail and inter and intra-city water transport project along the stretch. These three proposed modes would be connected to the existing north south transport corridors, namely central, harbour and western railways, through intermodal transport.
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