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Delays likely as Maharashtra has acquired only 15% of private land for Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation was planning to start work on the 701-km highway in January 2018, but that’s unlikely now

mumbai Updated: Nov 06, 2017 16:25 IST
Tanushree Venkatraman
Tanushree Venkatraman
Hindustan Times
Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway,samruddhi corridor,land acquisition
The 701-km expressway will require 9,364.73 hectares, of which 8,531.5 hectares is private land. (PIC FOR REPRESENTATION)

Four months after initiating the process of acquiring land for the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has managed to purchase only 15%, or around 1,283 hectares, of the private land required to build the road, said an official. This may result in missing the fresh deadline to kick off construction of the Devendra Fadnavis-led government’s pet project.

According to data obtained from MSRDC, the 701-km expressway will require 9,364.73 hectares, of which 8,531.50 hectares is private land and the rest is owned by the government. MSRDC will soon start acquiring the latter.

However, the planning authority has started the evaluation for 33 consortiums  interested in the Rs 46,000-crore project. It has begun the procedure of preparing request for proposals (RFPs), a senior official confirmed. The construction of the access-controlled expressway has been divided into 16 packages.

MSRDC, which was thinking of starting the project in January 2018, is likely to miss the deadline again. The earlier deadline was October 2017. In a meeting earlier, the state government had clarified that work orders would not be granted unless 90% of the land acquisition was completed.

Apart from the land acquired, owners have consented to handover 2,800 hectares of land (part of it is public) to the MSRDC, said Kiran Kurundkar, its joint managing director. “We are converting this land into sale deeds. Plus, the request for proposal is being finalised. The forest and environment clearances are also being fast-tracked,” added Kurundkar. Officials said apart from national companies, international ones have also shown interest in the project. In some cases, MSRDC has also sought further clarifications from the companies.

In August, Fadnavis had directed the MSRDC to purchase 50% of the required land by the first week of October. However, officials said the process of land acquisition is a lengthy one owing to issues such as multiple ownership, family disputes among others.

The project could be funded by the Korean Land & Housing Corporation of South Korea.

First Published: Nov 06, 2017 16:24 IST