The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) plans to deploy private security guards to prevent encroachers from occupying vacant land parcels of their ownership spread across Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Alibaug, Pen, Khalapur, Palghar, Vasai-Virar among other places.
It has floated a tender looking for an agency to provide 400 security guards for its property spread across different locations. The state government in June 2019, had extended the jurisdiction of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) by 2,000 sq. km making MMRDA the special planning authority in order to enable investment in these areas and give boost to big ticket infra projects.
A senior official who did not wish to be named said, "By deploying guards we will safeguard our property. If timely action is not taken many a times it also leads to unwanted controversy and court cases despite the property belonging to government, further affecting development work."
Usually the MMRDA makes revenue by leasing out its property so to facilitate funding for its various infrastructure development works. It has a land bank worth of crores of rupees. Moreover, it earns nearly Rs 10 crore annually only by renting out its large open grounds at BKC for exhibition purposes.
Reportedly, the MMRDA in July 2019 had made the biggest land deal in the country with a Japanese company Sumitomo. It managed to sell a three-acre land parcel in the Bandra Kurla Complex for Rs 2,238 crore. Similarly, it is also looking for buyers for its two amalgamated plots in BKC for a reserve price of Rs 2000 crore.
Since, the MMRDA is a development authority engaged in long-term planning and implementation of strategic projects and financing infrastructure development in MMR the revenue made through such deals is utilised on these projects largely. At present, it is carrying out large infrastructure projects of worth crores of rupees including 14 different metro lines in MMR, Mumbai Trans Harbour Sea Link (MTHL) among others.