The sleepy little town of Roha, located 120 km from Mumbai, may soon see the largest collection of scientists working under a single roof.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) decided to allow the Mahindra and Mahindra group to build a Rs 10,000 crore innovation park which will house 25,000 scientists who will undertake state-of-the-art research in a sprawling 5,000 acre complex.
“Mahindra Life Spaces has been chosen to build the Innovation Project which will cost Rs 10,000 crore. The project has been cleared by the Chief Minister and a formal announcement is likely to be made next month,” a senior government official said.
The MMRDA planned the innovation park on the lines of France’s Sophia Antipolis, as a research and development hub where scientists can find all facilities to undertake research activity and work on product development.
The park will facilitate interaction between scientists and businessmen who can market the technologies or products.
“The MMRDA’s estimate committee found Mahindra’s proposal superior than the others,” the official said. Mahindra has already made a presentation of their plans to the chief minister earlier this week.
MMRDA was seeking builders having a land bank of close to 5,000 acres.
MMRDA will contribute only 26 per cent equity but will help in getting clearances and create infrastructure in the surrounding areas of the park.
The innovation park will be completed in the next 10 years. Mahindra will develop the infrastructure for the park and then sell or lease the land to various pharmaceutical companies who want to undertake research and development work.
The MMRDA is taking help from the Science and Technology Park, which is a part of Pune University, to facilitate the setting up of the park. It will house nearly 2,000 research centers of industries and government where more than 25,000 scientists from over 100 nationalities will do research.
MMRDA officials claim that once operational, the park will create nearly one lakh science-related jobs and nearly eight lakh jobs for allied services.