Navi Mumbai: In April 2023, the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) floated multiple tenders worth ₹1200 crores for basic infrastructure such as roads, drainage, and a solid waste management system in the Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Area (NAINA). These infrastructure projects will be carried out in Town Planning Schemes (TPS) 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. There are a total of 11 TPSs in NAINA.
As per the tender, CIDCO will develop roads, solid waste drains, and footpaths across 23 villages in NAINA. The selected bidders will be required to complete the work within 30 months, including the monsoon season. NAINA was established in 2013, and in the span of a decade until March 15, 2023, only 68 projects have received occupation certificates (OC), while 264 projects have received commencement certificates (CC).
Contentious Dispute over Infrastructure Development
Developers have long complained about the slow progress of infrastructure development. Accelerating the development of infrastructure will not only make affordable housing available around Panvel but also generate revenue for the state government.
Prakash Baviskar, President of the NAINA Builders Welfare Association (NBWA) and General Secretary of the Marathi Bandhkam Vyavsayik Association (MBVA), pointed out that due to the sluggish pace of development, both developers and the government have suffered revenue losses. "Lands have remained idle for the past 10 years. Development in NAINA has nearly come to a standstill due to various factors, including inadequate infrastructure," Baviskar stated. He added that the sooner the infrastructure is put in place, the faster development will progress.
NAINA operates as a participatory land pooling scheme, wherein villagers are entitled to receive 40 percent of the developed land in exchange for surrendering a portion of their land to facilitate the development of NAINA city in the Raigad district. At present, CIDCO is executing a pilot project encompassing 23 villages in the Raigad district.
Conversely, a faction of villagers has been opposing NAINA, asserting that the scheme is not advantageous for them. "The impact assessment report indicates that approximately 42% of the land in NAINA is used for multiple crops. How will the villagers sustain themselves if they relinquish these lands and receive only 40% of the developed land? Additionally, villagers have to bear various development charges," argued Advocate Suresh Thakur, a PAP leader.
CIDCO Facilitates Final Plot Handover to Landowners
In May 2023, CIDCO handed over possession of the final plots to landowners from Chiple, Vihighar, Devad, Bhokarpada, Belavali, and Sangade villages under Town Planning Scheme-2 (TPS 2) of NAINA. The villagers were presented with the actual abuttals and boundaries (butts and bounds) of the final plots, as determined by the arbitrator. A CIDCO official stated, "Plots covering a total area of 92,000 sqm were successfully transferred to the landowners."
Following the commencement of the NAINA project, landowners from villages under TPS 2 have been allocated plots for the first time. This represents a significant and positive stride towards the project's actual implementation. CIDCO emphasized that the cooperation of landowners is substantially driving the NAINA project forward.
However, a section of villagers opposed the land allotment ceremony and staged a protest. Former MLA Balaram Patil and several villagers from Devad were detained by the police as a result.