In what it hopes is a far-sighted decision, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is planning to create two alternative business districts on the lines of Bandra-Kurla Complex and Nariman Point on 800 hectares near Kalyan and Bhiwandi.
“We have earmarked Rs. 150 crore to buy land to set up these business districts far from Mumbai. We are concentrating on two spots, one at Kalyan and the other at Bhiwandi,” additional metropolitan commissioner SVR Srinivas said.
Of the 700-800 hectare Central Business Districts in these two regions, MMRDA will have its own land of 80-100 hectares while the other land will belong to private owners.
The MMRDA will create additional infrastructure in the area and then sell parcels of the land.
The MMRDA has already commissioned two monorail lines on this stretch.
One is the Kalyan-Ulhasnagar-Dombivli stretch, which will be built at a cost of Rs. 3,669 crore and the other is the Mahape-Shil Phata-Kalyan stretch, which will be built at a cost of Rs. 2,932 crore.
“The project is aimed at ensuring that commercial growth in Mumbai is not limited to a certain region, and alternate business districts are created throughout the Mumbai metropolitan region,” Srinivas said.
MMRDA, the planning authority for Mumbai and its 3,788 sq km neighbourhood, has relied on the money raised from leasing land at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) to fund infrastructure projects across the MMR region. But, with land in the 370-hectare BKC running out, the body is looking at options to raise finances to fund the city’s increasing infrastructure requirements. MMRDA will also rope in the government-run SICOM to buy land from private owners for this project.
Meanwhile, critics of MMRDA’s latest move are questioning why investors would move to such far-off places when the realty sector is seeing a downturn. MMRDA officials, however, say they are planning for the future.