The state road development corporation will soon build a corridor of smart cities along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway by tapping its existing land bank and acquiring more, with the chief minister having given an in-principle nod to appoint the corporation as a special planning agency for certain areas.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has a land bank of about 500 hectare spread across 24 plots along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. Of the 24 plots, three are in the Panvel taluka, eight in Khalapur, and 13 in the Maval taluka. A vast majority of these plots remain unused.
A senior MSRDC official, who did not wish to be named, said, “We will concentrate on developing the stretch beyond Lonavala after the ghat section. A majority of the land prior to the ghat section falls in an eco-sensitive zone. We plan to acquire land to have a bank of about 1,000-1,500 hectares to develop about two to three smart cities. The plan is still in its nascent stages and a detailed project report will take time.”
For land acquisition, the MSRDC would use the model applied by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) for the Navi Mumbai International Airport or its NAINA smart city project where a portion of the developed land could be given back to original owners, he added.
By following this type of a land acquisition model, the official said, about 22.5 per cent of the developed land could be handed back to the owners and another 25 per cent may be used for development of infrastructure services. Roughly 30 per cent can be made available for commercial exploitation, while the rest will be kept aside for open spaces.
MSRDC officials briefly discussed the proposal of building smart cities along the 95-km Mumbai-Pune Expressway with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday. The chief minister, in-principle, agreed to appoint MSRDC as the special planning authority for certain areas to help the cash-strapped corporation optimally utilise its land bank and boost its dwindling finances.
As per a presentation that MSRDC officials made to Fadnavis on Thursday, designating MSRDC as a special planning authority along major transport corridors and ring roads will empower the corporation in many ways. It will enable the MSRDC to award Transfer of Development Rights against the construction of roads and for acquisition of land.
Being a special planning authority will also allow the MSRDC to a Floor-Space Index (FSI) of 0.5 to 1 as additional area for high density development against a premium. FSI is the ratio of the area construction to the plot size. Besides, a special planning authority can also undertake town planning schemes and build growth centres.
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