Development Boom In Mumbai Metropolitan Region Boosted By Proposed Airport
A development boom is taking root in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), boosted by the proposed international airport at Navi Mumbai, and several projects that promise to improve connectivity in the areas.
Nearly four decades after Navi Mumbai was conceptualised as a planned city to decongest Mumbai, the construction of the proposed Navi Mumbai airport likely to take off from October this year is setting the stage for the development of an urban sprawl of residential and commercial townships across Panvel, Kalyan, Ambernath and Bhiwandi, areas that together are called MMR.
The state’s urban development department, in 2017, gave location clearances to at least eight Integrated Township Projects, spread across 2,035 acres of land in MMR. Along with the ITPs, six special township projects cleared under the policy of the earlier government are also coming up in MMR.
Most of these have been planned near the new international airport, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and the Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (NAINA) a city adjoining the airport that is touted to be 25% larger than Mumbai.
The townships, based on the government’s December 2016 policy (tweaked from an earlier 2004 policy), are centred around the walk-to-work concept. They are meant to be self-sustaining centres, with the government asking developers to provide and maintain public amenities, basic infrastructure and smart facilities such as broadband connectivity for a period of 10 years.
The eight ITPs cleared last year include two projects by the Lodha Group, spread across 779.74 acres; Hiranandani Group’s Fortune City spread across 417.6 acres; two projects by Valuable Properties Private Limited, in a joint venture with an Ahmedabad group, across 436.7 acres; one project by Runwal Group spread across 128.4 acres; a project by a private Navi Mumbai developer spread across 130.9 acres, and a Wadhwa group project spread across 141.9 acres.
The state has also gone out of its way to make these township projects viable, revising its policy again in January 2018 to allow developers to use land parcels, including unutilised land in special economic zones, land under environmentally sensitive zones, and afforestation areas “to unlock the maximum development potential of the land”.
The Hiranandani Fortune City, 5km from the new airport, and part of an earlier notified special economic zone, will have 1,000 homes for sale in the market this year, another 2,100 by December 2019. It has already constructed 2 million sqft of commercial space in this project.
Nearly 44% of revenues came from affordable or mid-income housing last year in MMR, including Palava City and Upper Thane, where we are delivering large townships with all requisite social infrastructure.
The government has made it mandatory for developers to reserve 20% for affordable housing segment, and 5% for rental homes. But, not all urban planners and experts are optimistic about the integrated townships, pointing out the pace of development of the transport projects, and the way the townships will be planned.
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