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Uddhav Thackeray wants the ‘Sea World’ project to be set on Mumbai Port Trust land

While the BJP has demanded affordable housing projects on the Eastern coastline, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray wants the ‘Sea World’ project to be set up there. The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) has 900 acres of land on Eastern front and it should be handed over to the BMC for this project, he said.

Mr Thackeray carried out the bhoomipujan of Colaba sewage treatment plant on Monday.

Speaking on the occasion, he raised question marks over the state government’s plans to build affordable houses at open spaces in the city. The BJP leaders have demanded that open spaces like saltpan, eastern coastline should be used for providing affordable housing to people.

“Affordable housing is just like playing with words. During the Urban Land Ceiling (ULC) Act period, promises were made to provide affordable houses. But there are no accounts of how many houses were built. Then it was announced saltpan lands would be used for the same purpose. Now there are plans to build affordable houses on the eastern coast. But there is about 900 acres of land lying idle with the MbPT. It should be used to set up Sea World project there,” he said.

Mr Thackeray also reiterated his demand of setting up a park at Mahalaxmi Racecourse land. “We are not against the horse racing, but this is not a necessity. It can be shifted outside Mumbai. Such a big land of racecourse should be used for common Mumbaikars,” he added.

MbPT chairman Sanjay Bhatia said, “There are plans to develop the entire Eastern waterfront in Mumbai. We are in the process of appointing international consultants for the project. The plan will be finalised once the consultant is appointed.”

The report of a panel headed by former MbPT chairman Rani Jadhav and comprising urban planners, architects and government officials has prepared a blueprint of how nearly 1,000  of the total 1,800 acres of MbPT land can be developed for public amenities such as green spaces, walkways and a waterfront.

There are plans to set up Sea World project at Malvan in Sindhudurg district, which is modelled on water-theme amusement parks in the US. The project, first approved in 2009 by the previous Congress-NCP government, involves acquisition of 1,390 acres of land. But the work could not begin due to vehement opposition by villagers.

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