Devendra Fadnavis said, 23 towns on superhighway which connect Nagpur and Mumbai

CM unveils plan in which farmers will be partners

Mumbai : Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said that the Maharashtra Samruddhi Corridor, which would connect Nagpur and Mumbai, is going to change the economic scenario of the state with the development of 23 new towns along the 706.20-km expressway.

The ambitious project will be undertaken by resorting to land-pooling in which farmers will be partners rather than  just onlookers with one-time compensation.

Addressing the media, Fadnavis said, “Our idea is to include farmers in the development and prosperity of the region and not just take land from them after payment of one-time compensation. The project will change the economic scenario of the region and put the state ahead of the country by at least 20 years.”

The state has adopted the land pooling model used for Andhra Pradesh’s new capital Amaravati. An estimated 50,000 farmers, whose land will be pooled, will be given 25 per cent to 30 per cent of the developed land; they will also be given annual crop loss compensation for ten years. A senior government official said, “For irrigated agricultural land with a minimum two crop cycle, farmers will be offered a compensation of Rs 40,000 per acre per annum for a period of ten years. For single crop non-irrigated agricultural land, farmers will be compensated Rs 20,000 per acre per annum for a decade.”

Fadnavis’s pet project envisages creating 23 agro development nodes or ‘Krishi Samruddhi Kendras’ along the 706-km corridor. “Each node will generate employment for about 20,000 to 25,000 persons and we are looking at creating 2 million employment opportunities in the next 15 years. These nodes will also absorb migration from these rural areas to cities,” said Radheshyam Mopalwar, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation—the nodal agency for the project.

The work on Rs 46,000 crore-project is expected to start from January 2017 and the government intends to complete the project by October 2019. Fadnavis said, “Initially the state government would incur the cost of the land pooling, etc and later the MSRDC, which has mastery in raising funds through various schemes and bonds, would take care of the funding.” The Asian Development Bank has expressed interest in funding the project and has had several meetings MSRDC officials.

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