Mumbai has close to 5,400 acres of salt pans and Vasai has around 2,000 acres and another 2,000 acres in Palghar.
These salt pan lands are however under threat, as the state and the central government is scouting for potential land parcels to develop affordable housing projects.
In a recent development, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, has been asked to conduct a geological survey of around 355 acres of salt pan lands in Mumbai city and suburbs.
The 355 acres of land that is available for development in seven salt pans in Mumbai city and suburbs is not part of the CRZ-I norms, the state government said early this month adding that it has also not made any decision yet on whether or not to use this land for affordable housing.
Environmentalists are of the opinion that turning salt pans into land for real estate development could result in a negative impact on the city’s ecology as salt pans act as a natural barrier to flooding among other ecological benefits.