In Mumbai, land bank waiting to spread wings

Written by Prachi Karnik Pradhan | Mumbai, Sep 27 | Updated: Sep 28 2007, 04:44am hrs
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has proposed to create land bank. The authority will acquire vacant land to undertake significant infrastructure development of the 4,355 square kilometres of the Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR). Land bank concept has been acclaimed worldwide, said a senior MMRDA official.

Metropolitan commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad told FE that the rapid population growth and urbanisation has resulted in changing land uses pattern in MMR, which is one of the fastest growing regions in India.

He added that key factors of increasing the spatial dimensions of the city need the development of transport and communication and other infrastructure facilities.

"The mismatch between demand and supply of land had led to the degradation of environmentally fragile land, occupation of hazard prone areas, loss of cultural resources, open space and prime agricultural land," he added.

"MMRDA is going to undertake several surveys and studies to identify government lands in the MMR. Our aim is to acquire the government lands, develop the land, provide for better infrastructure and civic amenities and then sell off the developed land."

Identifying and acquiring land for the holistic development of the entire MMR would be a continuous process, said Gaikwad.

Another official noted that MMRDA would set deadlines to complete the proceedings of acquiring land and give priority to construction of colonies for the project-affected persons with basic amenities in time. Gaikwad said the land bank scheme is aimed at acquiring impaired properties and adding value by repositioning the properties for their highest and best use through environmental risk mitigation, working cooperatively with all stakeholders and entitling the properties for appropriate productive reuse.