The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), worried about its diminishing land resources, has now set its eyes on Wadala for commercial exploitation.
The MMRDA, in a meeting held with the chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad last month, sought permission from the state to move the truck terminus out of Wadala to areas such as Borivli, Navi Mumbai or Thane.
“The location of the terminus is in the heart of the city and is not used by many trucks. We are looking to exploit the land to raise money,” metropolitan commissioner Rahul Asthana said. He added that the MMRDA was looking at leasing the land to set up residential projects.
HT in June 2010 had reported about the MMRDA’s plans of moving the truck terminus. The MMRDA, in May last year, sold a nine-hectare plot in Wadala to a builder for Rs4,050 crore.
The MMRDA is now keen to exploit the remaining land parcel of 115 hectare. Some of this land comes under saltpan and forest area.
A think tank, deputed by MMRDA, had last year said there was potential to earn Rs1,000 crore every year by developing Wadala as a growth centre. For the last two decades, the agency has been raising money to fund Mumbai’s infrastructure by selling land in the 180 hectare Bandra Kurla Complex.
It managed to make a lot of money through selling this land. However, it now has only 20 hectares of land left. Under the most favourbale market conditions, the agency can make around Rs40,000 crore from this land.
This money seems inadequate to fund the growing infrastructure projects in the city. The MMRDA has taken up projects worth Rs2 lakh crore to improve the cities transport system for which it will have to shell out Rs40,000 crore from its own pocket.