If you think the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is only into infrastructure building, get ready to be surprised.
The MMRDA, which on Tuesday unveiled its Rs 6,653-crore budget, is now planning to build an innovation park where research and development activity will take place.
The MMRDA is also contemplating getting into the power generation business.
“We plan to set up an innovation park spread over 1,000 acres which will act as an incubation centre for academics and the industry,” Metropolitan Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad said.
The park will be built as a research and development hub with all required facilities for scientists to come and undertake research and product development.
The park will also facilitate interactions between scientists and businessmen, who can market the technologies or products created.
“The park will help researchers transfer their knowledge to the marketplace and will help in economic development of the metropolitan region,” Gaikwad said.
MMRDA earmarked a token sum of Rs 1 crore for the park, which will be built in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology and the Pune University’s Software Technology Park.
The MMRDA also plans to begin gas-based power generation to meet the shortfall in deficit areas. “Our main aim is the development of the metropolitan region and development can’t be holistic if we don’t address the problem of power,” Gaikwad said. The MMRDA has decided to diversify into these new areas even though the global slowdown has severely hit its revenue.
Last year the MMRDA submitted a budget of Rs 6,643 crore and was expecting an income of Rs 6,144 crore.
The expectation was largely based on the Rs 3,910 crore the MMRDA was hoping to generate through land sale, but the downturn meant it could earn only Rs 1,506 crore.
The downturn also forced the MMRDA to come out this time with a deficit budget of Rs 6,653 crore against an expected income of Rs 4,490 crore.