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Rediff News  All News  » Business » Mumbai facelift high on govt's agenda

Mumbai facelift high on govt's agenda

September 27, 2007 10:46 IST
In a bid to transform Mumbai into a world-class financial hub, the Centre has asked the Maharashtra government to upgrade its ports, railway and other infrastructure at the earliest. 

A standing committee under the chairmanship of Maharashtra Chief Secretary Johny Joseph has been set up to sort out various issues related to Mumbai port. 

It will work in co-ordination with the Planning Commission and the ministries concerned. To begin with, the Planning Commission has asked the shipping ministry to build another big port in Maharashtra, says sources. 

The Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) has been asked to make available 15 per cent of its land bank of over 750 hectares for development of an international finance and business centre. 

"Also, the state government and the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation have been authorised to allow a higher floor space index to developers to ensure the release of encroached or sub-optimally utilised land," said a source. 

 The MPT has also been asked to consider limiting its activities to cargo originating from and for Mumbai only. 

On the proposal for putting a cap on the capacity of MPT, the Planning Commission and the state government decided that it should be done only after creating additional capacity at other ports and safeguarding the interests of various stakeholders. 

The railways have been asked to ensure reduction of peak-time congestion on the Mumbai suburban railway system. The meeting also decided to expedite work on the Wadala-Kurla dedicated freight line. 

It was also decided to ask the railway ministry to expedite work on the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) phase I and II. 

On developing salt pan lands, it was decided that the 350 acres in possession of the salt commissioner should be developed. 

The state government has been asked to send its proposal for developing the salt pan lands, whose lease is expiring in 2016, to the salt commissioner. The Centre and the state also decided to settle all cases between them in various revenue courts. 

Sources said the proposal for the division of land between the Centre and the state would be cleared by the Cabinet. 

Rupesh Janve in New Delhi