The scenic stretch along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway may soon turn into an entertainment and real estate hub. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation is planning commercial development of nearly 1,000 acres of land across the 93-km stretch.
If all goes according to plan, the expressway could soon be lined with a theme cum amusement park, helipads, high-end restaurants, boutiques and residential projects by some of the country’s top brands.
MSRDC that is reeling under a debt of Rs 4,400 crore is planning to come up with a comprehensive policy to undertake systematic development of the corridor along the expressway.
“The Mumbai-Pune Expressway is the most productive corridor in Mumbai. In September we will come out with a comprehensive policy to plan the development of the 1000-acre land we hold here,” MSRDC Joint Vice Chairman and Managing Director Sonia Sethi said.
MSRDC has 1,000 acres of land across this stretch. By conservative estimates, this land if sold or leased can fetch a minimum of Rs 4,000 crore to the cash strapped agency.
The 93 km expressway, which connects Mumbai to Pune is India's first six-lane concrete, high-speed, access controlled tolled expressway. It starts at Kalamboli (near Panvel) and ends at Dehu Road (near Pune).
The MSRDC attempted to commercialise the stretch in 2003 but the proposal did not materialise. MSRDC officials feel the land can be used for building highway marts, container warehouses, convention centres, hospitals, naturopathic and ayurvedic centers, multiplexes, discount shopping centres, corporate training, conference facilities, call centres, hotels and motels.
Officials feel the earlier project could not take off as they were looking at each plot in isolation and had not drafted a comprehensive policy for the area development.
“We will plan the entire stretch in a way that each land parcel when developed acts as a trigger for the development of the next land parcel,” Sethi said. MSRDC says it will construct infrastructure along these land parcels to make them attractive to investors.
MSRDC is in dire financial straits, burdened with debts up to Rs 4,400 crore and no sources of revenue.
The idea of raising money by selling or leasing land was successfully exploited by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority that made a fortune selling land at Bandra Kurla Complex.
The MMRDA that currently has a corpus of more than Rs 10,000 crore undertakes works worth more than Rs 1 lakh crore in the MMR.