State government backtracks to reserve slum-dwellers' land for Juhu airport

In 2017, Maha Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had promised that all slum-dwellers on airport land would be rehabilitated in-situ


After promising free housing for existing slum-dwellers on Juhu airport land, the state government has now backtracked and declared that the land will be reserved for an airport or heliport.

Around 60,000 slum-dwellers who are occupying 78 acres out of the airport’s 385 acres, will eventually have to move out.

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During the 2017 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) poll campaign, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had promised that all slum-dwellers on the airport land would be rehabilitated in-situ. This was in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious project “housing for all” (by 2022).

Meanwhile, the BMC while preparing draft DP-2034 had proposed that the Juhu airport land is reserved for an airport/helipad. Local BJP corporator Renu Hansraj had proposed that the airport/helipad reservation be deleted and replaced it with affordable housing and a tank, pond or lake as per the existing site status. 

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Though the BMC's General House approved Hansraj’s request and incorporated in the draft DP, the Scrutiny Committee set up by the state government refused to give a nod to the changed reservation and reinstated the original indeed. The scrutiny committee includes Nitin Kareer, principal secretary, urban development department, and municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta.