Mumbai: MSRDC to start compensating farmers for Mumbai-Nagpur expressway

Mumbai: The state-run Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MDSRDC) will, from June 12, start paying compensation to the farmers whose land has been acquired by the state government for the ambitious Mumbai-Nagpur expressway. The move has been strongly opposed by the opposition and NGOs. The compensation will be five times of ready reckoner rates (based on which the value of immovable property is calculated). The chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis has recently said that MSRDC has received farmers’ consent for 80% land while the negotiations are on for the balance of 20% land.

The dream project of the state will require expenses worth Rs 40,000 crore and will need 10,000 hectares of land and the distance of 700 km between Mumbai and Nagpur will be covered in just six hours.

MSRDC vice chairman and managing director Radheshyam Mopalwar told DNA, “MSRDC has received request for qualification (RFQ) from 33 companies from India and abroad. The qualified bidders will be issued request for proposal (RFP) by end of June and they will be asked to submit it by August. We hope to award the contracts to the successful bidders for 16 packages in September. The expressway will be complete in 24 months.’’ He informed that the work has been split into 16 packages ranging between 28 km and 73 km. The cost varies from Rs 1,000 crore and Rs 2,700 crore, reported DNA.

Mopalwar informed that MSRDC has raised loan worth Rs 7,000 crore comprising Rs 2,000 crore from HUDCO with 15-year tenure at 9.50% rate of interest and the balance Rs 5000 crore with 13 year tenure at 8% from Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, Maharashtra Housing & Area Development Authority, City and Industrial Development Corporation and Slum Rehabilitation Authority.

The proposed expressway will be different from Mumbai-Pune expressway and will be under the surveillance of CCTV and will have service roads on either side of the eight-lane access controlled segments. The extra emphasis has been put on technology for this project.

The decision comes at a time when Maharashtra is witnessing a strike and protest by farmers and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has convened a meeting on June 12 at Aurangabad with farmers and various organisations to decide how to resolve the issue. BJP’s ally Shiv Sena has also stepped up the attack.

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