MMRDA approves 50 hectares of land for international business hub in Mumbai
Mumbai city news: The planning agency will table a master plan for the entire 50 hectares to the Union minister Jayant Sinha-led IFSC Taskforce for a go-aheadmumbai Updated: Jul 14, 2017 09:26 IST
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) board on Thursday formally approved 50.31 hectares of land at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), to set up the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). By next month, the planning agency will table a master plan for the entire 50 hectares to the Union minister Jayant Sinha-led IFSC Taskforce for a go-ahead.
The master plan will include a layout, land reservations and land use and all urban design guidelines for the proposed financial hub. It is expected to be a car-free zone.
The 50 hectare-land has been earmarked to meet the requirements of a finance Special Economic Zone (SEZ) within the parameters laid down by the Centre. Getting a finance SEZ tag is essential for BKC if it has to get the tax sops and other benefits offered to an IFSC. Currently, Gujarat International Finance Tech (GIFT) city is the only approved IFSC in the country.
The land approved for IFSC on Thursday is an irregular U-shaped plot that includes the entire G Tech block of BKC of around 30 hectares and the entire recreation ground of around 20 hectares close to it, adjoining the Mithi river.
Last year, the Centre had sent back the state government’s proposal to consider 20 hectares plot in BKC and the rest in built-up area to meet the requirement of 50 hectares given the land crunch in the city. Following the Centre’s refusal to consider Mumbai a special case, the state government had sent a proposal to earmark 50 hectares of land in BKC for the project.
“The decision today was to grant formal clearance and inform the members of the change in the area delineated for the IFSC. Also, so far, the Board of Approvals for Special Economic Zone (SEZ) had not yet put the Mumbai proposal on the agenda. It is now likely to come up for a hearing in the next two meetings,’’ said a senior state government official.
However, the state government is not putting the plan for an IFSC on hold until it gets the finance SEZ tag.
“We plan to do bhoomipujan of the first building by the end of this year regardless of an finance SEZ tag,’’ said an official from the MMRDA.
There has been a tussle between the Centre and the state over the IFSC project. Many within the state government believe that Mumbai’s IFSC project has been put on the backburner to give GIFT a lead. There has also been ongoing tussle with the Union railway ministry over earmarking land for an underground bullet train station at BKC, which also falls partially in the G block.
Sources told HT a final go-ahead for the station will come after the state gets its IFSC plan off the ground.
Meanwhile, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who chaired the MMRDA meeting, asked officials to keep 50% of the new houses in its rental housing scheme for mill workers, 40% for project-affected persons, 5% for police and 5% for Class 3 and 4 government staffers.