First private city in Maharashtra on track
The state cabinet on Wednesday decided to allot additional land for the Navi Mumbai Special Economic Zone, reports Dharmendra Jore.india Updated: Nov 09, 2006 01:49 IST
Maharashtra's first private city is finally on track as brushing aside opposition, the state cabinet on Wednesday decided to allot additional land for the Navi Mumbai Special Economic Zone being developed by corporate giant Reliance Industries Limited.
On Wednesday, the Maharashtra Cabinet cleared 2,841 acres (1,150 hectares) of land for the promoters. This will be in addition to 1,112 acres (450 hectares) land already given to the RIL through the nodal agency City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO).
The remaining land of the total 5,288 acres will be allotted in phases, said official Mantralaya sources.
The SEZ—of the size of XXX Nariman Points—will be Maharashtra's first private city, an outcome of the policy being pushed by the State Government aggressively to boost the industries in the State.
Located on the South end of the satellite city of Navi Mumbai, it will be spread over Ulwe, Kalamboli and Dronagiri areas in Raigad district and just next to India's busiest post, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and the proposed second international airport in Maharashtra.
The promoters, RIL and CIDCO plan to set up three different zones within SEZ aimed at different industries from leather products to electronics, auto ancillaries, biotechnology and offshore financial centre.
SEZ will be built and run privately. The promoters will set up a 2,000 MW captive power plant to cater to SEZ. The daily need of over 300 million litres of water will also be fulfilled through a private water supply scheme.
Market sources said Wednesday's decision is more significant as the SEZ would now attract more multi product investors. The strategic site with new airport coming up, highways, ports and easy availability of raw material would be an added advantage for the promoters to market SEZ.
RIL has once more proposed Maha Mumbai SEZ near the New Mumbai SEZ. Technically different projects, the RIL has planned to develop both facilities together.
"We plan to invest Rs 30,000 cr to create the necessary infrastructure in the two SEZs within the next 12-15 years," said an official RIL spokesperson. He added that the company expected no less than Rs 3 lakh crore private investment. In addition, the company is claiming that it would create employment opportunities for 2.5 million people.
Whereas CIDCO will provide the land at its disposal near Dronagiri, Ulwe and Kalamboli for New Mumbai SEZ, RIL's Maha Mumbai SEZ in Raigad district has run into rough weather after local people started protesting against land acquisition.
The government has taken a backseat after the Centre and UPA president Sonia Gandhi limited its role in land acquisition activity. Under the new policy, the irrigated lands would not be acquired and the owners would get market price for the lands sold to any SEZ promoter.
RIL needs around 14,000 hectares of land for both projects.
For the Navi Mumbai SEZ—a multi product facility was approved in the year 2001-02 and CIDCO had released 1,112 acres of land after finalising the RIL bid in 2003-04.
But since the SEZ Act passed in February 2006 has mandated a minimum requirement of 1,000 hectares for any multi product SEZ, the State released additional land to expedite the development. The promoters would have 74 per cent equity while the rest would be with CIDCO.
First Published: Nov 09, 2006 01:49 IST