Maharashtra to clear way for new industrial cities run by public firms

  • Ketaki Ghoge, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jan 23, 2015 22:24 IST

The new industrial cities and regions proposed under the ambitious Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor in Maharashtra will be set up as exclusive enclaves, out of the ambit of local authorities such as the existing municipal corporations, zilla parishads, gram panchayats as well as elections. A special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be created to develop each city.

The state government will amend the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, 1966 to grant special planning authority status to these SPVs set up by the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor trust (DMIC) and the state’s nodal agency Maharashtra industrial development corporation (MIDC). This will ensure the industrial cities are set up with no hindrance from local authorities or existing laws.

To free up the areas from the control of the existing gram panchayat, municipality or corporation limits, the state will issue a notification under Article 243 Q of the Indian Constitution.

In phase I, two new industrial areas have been proposed – Dighi maritime city in Raigad and Shendre-Bidkin manufacturing hub in Aurangabad. The project spans 10 districts in the state, including Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Aurangabad, Nasik, and covers 18% of the state, with 26% of the state’s population falling under its area of influence.

“This is to facilitate the creation of trunk infrastructure in the proposed industrial cities. The land will be acquired by MIDC and handed over to the SPV and the state government will provide adequate police cadre to maintain law and order. But otherwise, these areas will be controlled in perpetuity by the SPVs, headed by a government official,’’ said a senior industries department official.

The industries department government resolution issued this week has tasked various departments such as the rural development and urban development revenue department to start amending laws to grant special status to the SPVs. It also stated all development in these regions will be exempt from stamp duty, property tax etc. “The SPVs will be created to develop each industrial city or area and will have all the powers to decide land use, electricity distribution, right of way etc,” stated the government order, dated January 19.

The state cabinet had given its go-ahead to the state support agreement and the shareholding agreement between the DMIC Trust and the MIDC last year. Both the agreements lay down this procedure to plan new industrial cities. A joint committee between the SPV and the state government will be formed to iron out coordination issues. DMIC, through the SPV, will opt for transparent competitive bidding to develop the second-stage infrastructure of these cities.

The trunk infrastructure will be funded by the Centre, while the state government’s equity will be in the form of land acquired for the project.

It is learnt chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is keen to ensure both the cities are set up by the 2019 deadline set by the Centre.

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