Land acquisition a tall order amid high compensation demands

The MMRDA had until now been facing strong opposition to even conduct a land survey.

Written by MANASI PHADKE | Mumbai | Published:July 30, 2014 12:25 pm

While the city’s development authority has finished land survey amid stiff resistance for a carshed in Ovala, Thane, for a Metro rail connecting Mumbai and Thane, the actual acquisition of this land could be a tedious process with previous projects having set high expectations for compensation.

“Even as a handful of landowners are still hesitant to give up their land, those who have expressed their willingness to part with their plot want a compensation model like the one adopted for the Versova Metro car depot for Mumbai’s first Metro rail corridor. For the farmers, we have been demanding that the authorities adopt the same 75:25 model as they had for the Versova land where the private landowner was given 75 per cent of the plot’s total floor-space-index to be utilised on 25 per cent land,” said local Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik.

He added that landowners were expecting a compensation formula on the lines of the one adopted for the farmers, who were giving up their land for the Navi Mumbai International Airport, where landowners are given a portion of the developed land as compensation. In the airport project, as part of the rehabilitation deal, the state government is offering landowners additional floor-space-index on 22.5 per cent of developed land as compensation.
“There was opposition, but now we have come to a stage where about 70 per cent of the farmers are fine about parting with their land for the project.

However, they have a set of demands for compensation that the authorities need to address,” Sarnaik said.

The land in concern is a 30-35-hectare plot, which falls under the no-development zone and is under agricultural cultivation with there being about 25-30 different plot owners. The MMRDA had until now been facing strong opposition to even conduct a land survey.

Sanjay Sethi, additional metropolitan commissioner, said, “The depot was the main issue, but now at least we have come to a level where we have been able to conduct the survey. There are multiple claims on the plot and we have started talks, but it is a process that takes time. The main issue is that the land is in the no-development zone.”

Sethi said the development control rules were revised in Mumbai and that paved the way for the authority to have a 75:25 model for the Versova car depot. “We will have to approach the Thane Municipal Corporation regarding  land acquisition,” he added.

The Mumbai-Thane Metro rail connector, which will have 33 stations, is planned to run from Wadala to Kasarvadavali starting from a point close to the Wadala monorail station. The corridor, which will be roughly 30 km long, will run underground from Wadala to Kapurbavdi in Thane and then change to an elevated line. It will join the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro at the Ghatkopar Metro station.

manasi.phadke@expressindia.com

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