With Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) reaching a saturation point with increased business operations, the state government has speeded up its plans to make Wadala the next business hub.
Wadala’s special planning authority, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), has invited consultants to prepare a detailed plan on how the 109.24 hectares of undeveloped land at Wadala could be turned into an international finance and business centre.
Hindustan Times had reported in June 2010 about MMRDA’s plans of turning the region into a commercial district on the lines of Bandra Kurla Complex.
“We are seeking interested consultants who will help in creating a plan for 109 hectares of land in Wadala by which the area can be transformed into a international finance and business district,” a senior MMRDA official said. MMRDA presently has 109 hectares of land in Wadala of which only 15 hectares are marked for commercial activities. Twenty-seven hectares of land are under salt pans and forests while nearly 32 hectares are set aside for a truck terminus and an inter-state bus terminus (ISBT).
MMRDA officials are hoping that they will be allowed by the state to move the ISBT and truck terminus outside and be able to commercially exploit this land. It is also eyeing the salt pan land for future development.
The MMRDA in May 2010 had managed to sell its 25,000-square metre plot in Wadala for Rs4,050 crore. Since then it is betting big on Wadala as the agency’s next cash cow. MMRDA’s internal study has suggested that it can make close to Rs1,000 crore from land in Wadala every year for the next two decades.
In the 1890s, Wadala with its large tracts of land and sprawling greenery was chosen by the British government as the city’s next growth centre. Many felt that Wadala would help in decongesting the heart of Bombay.
The need for creating alternate growth centres is necessary as commercial centers like BKC, which is spread on 178 hectares, is running out of land. It presently has only 20 hectares of land left for commercial use.
The MMRDA is presently constructing a Mono Rail to connect Chembur-Wadala- Jacob Circle. It is also working on the Easter Freeway project to provide connectivity to Wadala with south Mumbai and Ghatkopar.