With farmers still wary of land-pooling for the state government’s ambitious Mumbai-Nagpur Super Communication Expressway, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) plans to acquire land with one-time payments to owners under the Land Acquisition Act.
The project-implementing authority, which seeks to kick-start the work on the 710-km expressway from October 1, will start giving one-time payments to farmers from April 15. Sources said the MSRDC was behind its schedule to secure consent from farmers. The government hopes to complete the project, estimated to cost Rs46,000 crore, before the Assembly elections in 2019.
It needs 20,820 hectares of land, of which 8,520 hectares will be for the road and nearly 12,000 hectares for the 24 townships.
“We have kept both options open. Farmers can either opt for the land-pooling option or surrender their land. The latter will be compensated as per the Land Acquisition Act,” Eknath Shinde, minister for public works department told HT.
The MSRDC has got in-principle approval from nearly 30% landowners under the land-pooling model. As per the model, the government has decided to pay farmers an amount of Rs 20,000 to Rs 40,000 per acre for 10 years with assured increase on annuity basis. They will also get back one-fourth of the area.
A senior state government official said, “We expected a majority of landowners, if not all, to choose the land-pooling model, but the response was tepid. If the project has to commence as per the schedule, the corporation needs land within the next couple of months.
The MSRDC had already floated request for quotation (RFQ) bids for the project. The eight-lane expressway is expected to reduce the travel time between Mumbai and Nagpur by six to eight hours.
CM Devendra Fadnavis’s pet project will have 24 nodes, or prosperity hubs, which include manufacturing units, IT industries, knowledge city, commercial sites, etc. Senior MSRDC officials added that they have already selected 17 of the 24 locations where nodes would come up. A proposal to the urban development department would be sent to upgrade the corporation to the special planning authority.
The expressway will start from Nagpur and pass through 10 districts of Wardha, Amravati, Washim, Buldhana, Jalna, Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Nashik, Thane and Mumbai.