Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has acquired 86% of the land needed for the construction of the proposed Rs 46,000-crore, 701-km-long, Nagpur-Mumbai super communication expressway (NMSCE), as of July 2.
MSRDC has paid five times the market value of the land to landholders, disbursing a total amount of Rs 5,326 crore, as it entered into direct negotiations with farmers across 10 districts. As of July 2, MSRDC said a total of 10,649 sale deeds had been executed with 20,916 farmers, for 6,115.17 hectares (ha).
MSRDC requires a total of 8,636.09 ha which fall under the right of way (RoW) of the expressway. Of this, 1,345.22 ha is government-owned land while 7,290.87 ha is owned privately. So far, MSRDC has 7,460.39 ha in its possession, including the government-owned land. It expects to spend a total of `7,500 crore on land acquisition.
The state issued a notification in November 2017 under section 15 of the Maharashtra Highways Act, according to which it proposed to provide compensation amounting to five times the value of the land to those who willingly hand over their land to the state. The notification also gave the government the power to avoid social impact assessment studies and rehabilitation of project-affected people, thereby expediting the land acquisition process.
However, despite farmers giving their consent, Radheshyam Mopalwar, VC and MD, MSRDC, said, over 300 hectares are under civil dispute. He explained, “Although there may be just one farmer for a plot of land, many of these land parcels are jointly owned by family members and relatives. These cases will have to be settled by a court of law as to how the compensation is going to be divided among the family members.”
The maximum numbers of sale deeds have been executed in the districts of Nagpur, Wardha, Amaravati and Washim with over 90% of sale deeds registered already. However, in Nashik, Thane and Jalna districts, about 75% sale deeds to the total land acquired have been registered.
Mopalwar added that State Bank of India has approved Rs 5,000 crore towards the cost of the project and is expected to make a further commitment of Rs 3,000 crore. Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, Dena Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Corporation Bank, Bank of India, Indian Bank, Andhra Bank and Union Bank of India have also given an in-principle approval for Rs 13,300 crore.
Together with institutions such as Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and Indian Infrastructure Finance Company (IIFCL), MSRDC expects to tie up Rs 28,000 crore towards the civil engineering costs of the project. The interest costs to be paid by MSRDC during the construction phase is Rs 7,000 crore while the land acquisition cost is `7,500 crore. The remaining `3,500 crore is for contingencies. Five state-owned bodies in Maharashtra have also sanctioned funds to MSRDC for the project.