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Maharashtra plans new towns in no-development, agricultural areas for Mumbai-Nagpur Eway

Mumbai city news: Government proposes to change reservation of land in 28 villages across five districts

mumbai Updated: Jul 18, 2017 12:29 IST
Manasi Phadke
Manasi Phadke
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway,Maharashtra government
The Mumbai-Nagpur Super Communication Expressway comprises eight lanes that will span 706km from Nagpur to Thane.(PIC FOR REPRESENTATION)

The state government has begun the process of setting aside land, most of which is currently under no-development and agricultural zones, for new towns along the proposed Mumbai-Nagpur expressway.

The state urban development department has proposed to change the reservation of land in 28 villages across five districts — Nagpur, Amravati, Washim, Aurangabad and Ahmednagar — from no-development or agriculture zones to new towns, according to the region plans of the districts. It has invited suggestions and objections from the public on the same.

The Mumbai-Nagpur Super Communication Expressway comprises eight lanes that will span 706km from Nagpur to Thane. The expressway will pass through 10 districts and link some of the state’s most backwards areas, including Vidarbha and Marathwada, to Thane.

The department has also decided to reserve land in 26 other villages for new towns across four districts — Wardha, Buldhana, Jalna and Thane — that have notified draft region plans and the process of preparing final ones is still underway.

Moreover, the government will appoint the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), the implementing authority for the expressway, as the ‘New Town Development Authority’ for these places.

RL Mopalwar, managing director, MSRDC, said, “The MSRDC does not plan to acquire land for the nodes along the expressway. We will only plan the development of areas around the interchanges so that there is no haphazard unplanned growth like at Khalapur on the Mumbai-Pune expressway”.

Originally, the state government had planned to acquire land and build new towns to make them agricultural hubs along the expressway and boost employment in the districts through which the corridor will pass.

The nodes were to be equipped with basic infrastructure and social amenities such as roads, hospitals, schools, colleges, electricity, water supply, fire bridge services, as well as provide space for commercial activities such as industries, shops, hotels and offices. Besides, the government had also envisaged godowns for agricultural produce, food processing units, cold storage facilities, soil testing centres, veterinary clinics and so on.

The MSRDC, which will only plan these nodes now, would have otherwise needed to acquire an additional 10,800 hectares, most of which is currently in the agriculture or no-development zone, to actually develop the hubs.

For the highway and wayside amenities itself, the corporation will have to acquire about 10,000 hectares.

Fadnavis aims to complete the project by 2019, the last year of his five-year term.

Titled as Maharashtra Prosperity Corridor, the expressway is chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ dream project.

The project is, however, facing stiff opposition from a section of the farmers as well as some political parties protesting the widespread use of agricultural land for the expressway


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First Published: Jun 22, 2017 11:44 IST