AFTER A green signal from the state Cabinet to expand its powers to Pen, Palghar and Raigad districts, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is planning to speed up big ticket infrastructure projects in the expanded Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
In the monsoon session, Chief Minister-led cabinet gave its nod to the MMRDA to expand its jurisdiction to Palghar, Pen and Raigad districts. This green signal means that the MMRDA can now act like a Special Planning Authority (SPA) in these areas that together measure 2,000 square km. The SPA status, once accorded, will grant the MMRDA powers to regulate all construction works and development activities alongside the corridor.
According to MMRDA’s Development Plan (DP 2016-36), it has proposed development of four growth centres, situated in Nallasopara, Kharbao (Bhiwandi Rural), Nilje near Kalyan-Dombivali and Shedung, which is near the Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (NAINA). It is an integrated city planned by the state government near Navi Mumbai international airport.
Sources from the MMRDA said these are areas where big infrastructure projects are coming up, and hence the MMRDA has demanded powers of SPA in these areas.
The Prime Minister’s pet project, Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train, passes through the BKC-Thane-Bhiwandi-Virar corridor that is near one of the growth centres. Besides, the plan for taking the Metro up to Virar is already on the cards. A senior MMRDA official said as of now, Mumbai city does not have big parcels of land where planned growth centres can be developed. So, the future is developing the MMR region.
The official also said the development authority had already submitted the region development plan, which is awaiting a nod from the urban development department.
The official added that once the UD gave its green signal, the MMRDA will start the land acquisition process of two growth centers at Nallasopara and Bhiwandi (Rural).