South Korean experts to help build smart cities along Mumbai-Nagpur expressway
Looking to develop 24 planned townships along the proposed ambitious 706-km Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway, the Maharashtra government has roped in the South Korean government to offer technical proficiency and financial backing to build these new cities.Updated: Oct 07, 2016, 11:26 IST
Looking to develop 24 planned townships along the proposed ambitious 706-km Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway, the Maharashtra government has roped in the South Korean government to offer technical proficiency and financial backing to build these new cities.
The state government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Korean Land and Housing Corporation, an undertaking of the South Korean government that specialises in land development, town planning and creation of housing stock.
Besides the Mumbai-Nagpur corridor, the MoU is also expected to cover other smart city projects being implemented in Maharashtra under the Centre’s ‘Smart Cities’ mission, as well as the revamp of Bandra’s government colony, a 93-acre sprawl of crumbling buildings near the Bandra Kurla Complex.
A senior official from the state public works department said, “The government has discussed the Mumbai-Nagpur expressway as one of the main projects under the agreement. Experts from the Korean Land and Housing Corporation will help the government plan all the new townships that are to be created along the proposed expressway, and may also take up the development of one or two nodes by themselves.”
The government is also likely to receive funding from the South Korean government for the project though the exact quantum will be decided at a later stage, he added.
The South Korean government, last year, offered to pledge a $10 billion fund for infrastructure projects, especially smart cities, railway infrastructure and power generation, in India during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country.
“All states have been in the race to sign MoUs with entities of the South Korean government since then, hoping to get a share of the pie. The Korean Land and Housing Corporation has ample expertise in developing new cities, and has also showed interest in Maharashtra’s proposed infrastructure projects,” the government official said.
The corporation, founded in 1962, focuses on building rental housing, housing for sale, planning new towns and industrial clusters in South Korea. In the past, it has assisted the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), a government agency under the state public works department, to check the feasibility of creating smart cities along the 95-km Mumbai-Pune expressway.
The MSRDC is also the implementing agency for the Mumbai-Nagpur expressway, which will span across 10 districts and halve the travel time between the two cities to eight hours from 16. The 24 new townships along the corridor are mostly being planned as agro-based cities with processing plants and cold storage facilities that will allow farmers in the hinterland access to competitive markets. The new cities are likely to require an investment of Rs 12,000 crore.