With the intention of boosting employment opportunities around Mumbai, the Maharashtra government has planned several growth centres in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). A plan is now ready for the first such growth centre in Kalyan.
The growth centre, which will be developed as a business hub, will have a well-developed transport system, smart city facilities and necessary infrastructure for housing, to attract investors.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has accepted the plan for the growth centre, which will come up on 5,500 hectares of land between Nilje and Kalyan city. The plan has been drawn up by a South Korean consultant.
MMRDA is also set to develop similar growth centres at Vasai-Virar, Bhiwandi, Panvel, Alibaug-Pen along the proposed Virar-Alibaug Multimodal Corridor (VAMC).
Sanjay Sethi, additional commissioner of MMRDA, said, “Many people travel for long distances to work in Mumbai. When these business hubs are developed in MMR, the far-flung distances between work places and homes will be reduced significantly. At present, we are ready with the plan for Kalyan. Subsequently, other areas will be taken up.”
Welcoming the plan, Akhtar Chauhan, an urban planner, said, “Authorities should ensure the business hubs have proper health care, transport facilities along with components for affordable housing. In addition, there should be state-of-the art facilities to attract investors.” The business hub in Kalyan is flanked by two railway stations at Nilje and Kalyan. The VAMC also passes through the hub, making it well-connected with other business hubs, the planned Navi Mumbai International Airport, JNPT, and all major highways leading to Mumbai.
To woo investors, MMRDA plans to incorporate smart city features such as public Wi-Fi networks, an integrated CCTV camera network, smart-parking system, and solar lighting applications.
MMRDA has also started working on a plan to develop a stretch in Kalwa as a business hub and connect it to other hubs in the MMR.
According to the MMRDA, land-owners will have to hand over 40% of their land to MMRDA for free, retaining the remaining 60%. The City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) plans to implement a similar land acquisition model for its Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (Naina) project. While land-owners living around the Naina project will not be forced to surrender their land, it will be mandatory for land-owners near MMRDA’s growth centres to give up parts of their land.
The state government issued an ordinance in November last year amending the MRTP Act, which now says land-owners who part with portions of their land get extra FSI on the retained land, as incentive.
MMRDA plans to take over around 1,000 hectares of land to make the growth centre in Kalyan economically viable. “We need funds to develop infrastructure in the smart city, which will be generated by selling the land parcels in our control,” Sethi said.