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Three townships to come up on Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway

State government has invited bids for design and planning for nodes in Wardha and Buldhana districts.

mumbai Updated: May 21, 2018 10:44 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
The expressway is called the ‘Samruddhi Mahamarg’ or Prosperity Corridor.
The expressway is called the ‘Samruddhi Mahamarg’ or Prosperity Corridor.(Representational photo)

The proposed Prosperity Corridor between Mumbai and Nagpur might soon see three townships in Wardha and Buldhana districts, among others, as the state government has invited bids for their design and planning.

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has initiated the process to create growth centres along the ambitious Mumbai-Nagpur expressway. The MSRDC – the nodal agency for chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ pet project – has invited bids for design and planning of the three nodes at Arvi in the Wardha district, Sindkhedraja in Buldhana district, and across Vaijapur and Kopargaon, that fall in Ahmednagar and Aurangabad districts.

The expressway which is called the ‘Samruddhi Mahamarg’ or Prosperity Corridor will pass through 10 districts and link some of the state’s most economically-backward areas, including Vidarbha and Marathwada, to Thane. The townships to be developed as agricultural hubs will boost employment in these areas.

Taking a leaf out of Andhra Pradesh’s Amaravati model of land acquisition, the state has adopted the land-pooling approach. A senior MSRDC official said that the three nodes will come up at locations where farmers have pooled in their land. Accordingly, it will offer cash and developed annuity-based returns to farmers, thus making them partners in the project.

“We invited bids last week for development of nodes at three locations. Farmers have pooled their land at these locations, which is why we have begun the process there. We will appoint consultants who will design the entire area,” said Vijay Waghmare, joint managing director, MSRDC. Originally, the corporation had planned to build 24 nodes along the 701-km expressway. This was later brought down to 17 by the special purpose vehicle (SPV) constituted for the mega project.

According to a senior official, there are three to four other locations where farmers have given their consent. “These locations will also be taken up subsequently. For now, we will take up the three mentioned areas, as all the legal procedures have been completed,” said the official.

Waghmare added that the nodes will be equipped with basic infrastructure and social amenities such as roads, hospitals, schools, colleges, electricity, water supply, fire brigade services. He said they will also provide a space for commercial activities such as industries, shops, hotels and offices.

“The nodes and townships will be planned depending on the area, the industry, and what the locals want,” he said..