Farmers whose lands have been acquired for Maharashtra’s Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) project will have the option of trading a portion of the compensation provided for the acquired land mainly to offset height restrictions imposed near airports.
The decision of the Devendra Fadnavis-led government to transfer development rights (TDR) — said to be a first by any state government in the country — comes at a time when there is a debate on about the Narendra Modi government’s Land Acquisition Act.
The CIDCO, a state-run undertaking, and the nodal agency for the NMIA project, has acquired 671 hectares of private land owned by 1,200 villagers in ten villages of Navi Mumbai for the airport project. In lieu of the surrendered land, the Maharashtra government, in a unique compensation model, offered the owners developed land measuring 22.5 per cent of the acquired land, including 15.75 per cent of buildable plots, and 6.75 per cent development amenities, in Pushpak Nagar township CIDCO is developing near the proposed airport.
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A floor space index (FSI) —a development tool that defines the extent of construction permissible on a plot, the ratio of built-up area to the total plot area — of nearly 2 can be utilised by the farmer for construction on the plots awarded to them at the township.
But a number of project affected farmers might not be able to utilise the entire FSI granted owing to height restrictions, and the FSI cap imposed by CIDCO for plots below 1000 square metres in size.
To save farmers from this economic loss, the government has decided to permit transfer of development rights (TDR), or floating FSI, in such cases.
So far in Maharashtra, the TDR — another development tool that permits transfer of possible development on a land parcel after it touches a limit, to another designated area — has only been used in the suburbs of Mumbai to compensate land owners whose lands were reserved for public amenities.