In a bid to help Mumbai and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) regain the top spot as the countryfs premier growth centre, chief minister
Devendra Fadnavis has plans to expand the financial capital to the north, with a third mega business district along the lines of Nariman Point and Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) to be set up near the proposed international airport at Panvel.
The state is also keen to revitalise Mumbaifs existing central business district at Nariman Point and BKC, besides creating three new hubs at Lower Parel, Andheri(West) and Wadala and some along the proposed Virar-Alibaug multimodal corridor.While Lower Parel is beingproposed as a financial hub,Andheri (West) will be the IT hub.
Fadnavis wants to utilise thepotential of the 4,355-sq-km MMR region to the fullest, as in the pastfive years, t as lost out to theNational Capital Region (NCR).According to the 2011 census,NCR is the largest urban agglomerationin the country, overtaking MMR, hich was tipped tobe second only to Tokyo in 2005.Several corporate houses andMNCs that have come to Indiain the past couple of years havepreferred o et up their basesin NCR . a phenomenon that was associated with Mumbaifor long.Some of the reasons for thiswere the steep real estate pricesin Mumbai, the overburdened infrastructure and lack of easein doing business.
Also, the much-talked aboutMumbai makeover project,which was aimed to extend thefinancial capital to MMR, didnot take off. Fadnavis has nowdecided to give the project a bigpush, and in a systematic way.Spread across nearly 600 qkm, which is almost one-and-a-half times the size of Mumbaicity, the Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (NAINA)will be developed from as a ewfinancial hub.
The interim developmentplan of NAINA, which is spreadacross 37 sq km, will be submittedto the state government forapproval in March. ifteen percent of this land will be reservedfor commercial and businesscentres.The mega finance hub hasbeen proposed in Phase I of theproject, spread cross 8,000 hectares.NAINA has two nationalhighways (NH-4 and NH-17)besides state highways and theMumbai-Pune Expressway intersectingit. It will be onnectedto the airport, Navi Mumbaiairport and suburban railway corridors.
“These business hubs largely promoted along transport corridorswill create potentialfor growth and investment.But, for this, we first needto create an co-system thatis conducive to business, byintersecting these hubs withfast transit corridors, social infrastructure,” said a senior government official. To get the development dialogue started, the state governmentalong with Bombay Firsthas organised a mega eventtermed ‘Transformation MMR’on ebruary 6.The event will host several Central government officials,orporate head honchos, WorldBank officials and Europeanurban planning experts.
Union inance minister ArunJaitley along with minister ofstate for finance Jayant Sinhaand MP Poonam Mahajan areexpected to be present at theevent.“NCR got nn edge becauseof the Centre’s support and the speedy implementation ofinfra projects such as the NCR expressways. If MMR has to achieve its potential, we need the Centre to partner in a big way, with financing and faster clearances,” added another state official. Also, on the cards is tweaking of land use lans, development control rules and easing business procedures at the proposed hubs.