Three years on, plan to develop Wadala gathers steam

The master plan will be limited only to the 64-hectare Wadala Truck Terminal, a land that was sub-leased to the Bombay Goods Transport Association in the 1990s.

Written by Benita Chacko | Mumbai | Published: March 7, 2017 3:39:07 am

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) long-pending plan to develop Wadala on the lines of Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) is finally gaining momentum. After over three years of wait, the draft for the Wadala Master plan is now ready and awaiting deliberations by the internal committee. “The Wadala Master plan draft is ready, but some minor modifications need to be made. It is yet to come to me. Once I look through it and finalise it, we will go to the committee for approval,” says UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA. The MMRDA is the special planning authority of Wadala and intends to develop the area into a commercial, residential and transport hub with schools, hospitals and even an inter-state bus terminal.

However, the master plan will be limited only to the 64-hectare Wadala Truck Terminal (WTT), a land that was sub-leased to the Bombay Goods Transport Association (BGTA) in the 1990s.

“While BKC has more of commercial development, this area will look at both residential and commercial aspects, with special focus on transport. With this, a walk-to-work system will be encouraged,” says a senior MMRDA official.

With smart-city planning for the area, it will have WiFi connectivity, CCTV surveillance, systematic garbage collection, designated smart parking for vehicles along with well-laid utility lines.

Prepared by Edifice Consultants Pvt Ltd, the plan has been in the pipeline for many years now. It was delayed by a few years due to the issues raised by the BGTA and other transport associations over the truck terminal.

“We now have an agreement with them and will construct two multi-storey towers to accommodate them on the same land,” says Madan.

A slew of infrastructure projects, such as the monorail, the Eastern Freeway and the upcoming Metro 4 connecting Wadala with Thane has greatly increased Wadala’s real estate potential in the past few years.

These have also developed the area into a transportation hub. In 2011, Lodha Group purchased 9 hectares of land here from the MMRDA for Rs 5700 crore.

Meanwhile, the MMRDA also awaits a study report by the Airport Authority of India on relaxation of building heights in Wadala, which is expected in April. The MMRDA had requested the AAI to grant a relaxation of up to 200 metres here, as the restrictions prevent them from exploiting the total area of every plot efficiently.

“If we are allowed height relaxations, the overall developable area may increase, depending on what height we are permitted,” adds Madan.

The MMRDA holds all of 109 hectares in Wadala, of which 27 hectares is designated salt-pan land.

Of the remaining land, parts were leased out to goods transport associations for the truck terminus, to the Lodha Group for a residential township, and some area is occupied by the monorail car depot.

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