Updated: June 28, 2021 1:10:24 am
Dr Sanjay Mukherjee, vice-chairman and managing director, CIDCO, talks to Vallabh Ozarkar about how Navi Mumbai is being shaped by the planning agency through its ambitious infrastructure projects and the challenges they are facing to complete the plans. Excerpts:
Of the initial development plan envisaged for Navi Mumbai, how much has been completed so far?
CIDCO had chalked out a long-term plan for Navi Mumbai. A major part of its city has been completed. Development works at Vashi, Nerul Airoli, Sanpada, Kopar Khairane and Belapur have been done. Kharghar, Kalamboli, Ghansoli, Jui Kamothe, New Panvel, Ulwe, Pushpak, Uran and Dronagiri are the other nodes that are yet to be completely developed, and work on them is on.
Dronagiri and Ulwe assume special importance as these new townships are planned to meet the housing and urban infrastructural needs for development of port-based industrial, commercial, warehousing and transport activities around Jawaharlal Nehru Port and the proposed special economic zone.
Similarly, Pushpak and New Panvel nodes also hold prominence because of the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport.
Which are the most important projects you are focusing on?
We are carrying out the world’s largest housing project – the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) under which CIDCO is building around one lakh houses in and around Navi Mumbai.
Navi Mumbai Metro and Navi Mumbai International Airport are also two major projects undertaken by us. The Metro shall not only boost the city’s transit system but also improve its economic growth.
Maha Metro has been appointed for fast implementation of Metro Line 1, and it is likely to be operational by the year end. The development work of Navi Mumbai Airport has also gained pace. All pre-development works and rehabilitation of project-affected people from the core airport area is complete.
Kharghar was dubbed an emerging Smart City but most of the projects there are yet to be completed. Also, the area witnesses water crisis. What would you say?
The future of Navi Mumbai appears to be near Kharghar, and for that, we need to have infrastructure there, which also includes water supply. We are working to resolve the water crisis on a priority basis. CIDCO is taking necessary initiatives for regular supply of water in the node. In Kharghar, we have a golf course project, which is incomplete. That has to be completed.
Our projects like Navi Mumbai International Airport, Navi Mumbai Metro, Corporate Park and housing schemes among others will make Kharghar, a node flourished with best transit infrastructure, numerous commercial opportunities, high standard social and cultural infrastructural facilities.
CIDCO’s essential source of revenue is through lease of lands and collection of various charges from the services it provides. With several major old civic infrastructure projects undertaken by us and due to the pandemic, we are financially a bit stressed. But we have been able to generate revenue by sale of plots and also by expediting various approvals.
We are also trying to see that every project has to pay for its own expenditure.
This is the general policy we have taken up now to ensure that the projects are completed without facing any issues in future. The sale of various plots by CIDCO in past few months has gained a huge response. It has also earned adequate income for CIDCO amid the pandemic too and has even acted as a stimulus for the recessing real estate of the city.
What are the biggest challenges for you at CIDCO?
One would be the execution of the largest housing project, PMAY, which we have undertaken. Another huge challenge is the upcoming airport. It is a challenge since even a radar changes the whole design of the airport. However, we have finished 100 per cent land acquisition and almost 98.9 per cent of rehabilitation work.
While taking the responsibility of CIDCO, I put forth a new conception of work. Several halted and tardy projects have been revived.
Lockdown and recession pose a challenge in every sector. We have been taking various initiatives to boost the real estate sector and our focus relies on providing affordable houses to every economic strata of the society.
Do you have any other plans to make Navi Mumbai a Smart and Mega City?
We are trying to bring centres of excellence in all sectors to Navi Mumbai. For example, if National Institute of Mental Health wants a place, we will allot them land where they can build it.
The aim is to have the centres of excellence in fields like health, education, medicine and information technology.
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