Navi Mumbai To Get New Development Plan
Mumbai, India's financial capital, which is infamous for its highly expensive real estate, became out of bounds for the common homebuyer long ago. Considering the limitations the city faces given its geographical location, accommodating teeming millions who migrate to the city has always been an insurmountable task for the city administration.
With more people flocking to the city in search of livelihood, authorities started mulling the creation of a new township in its vicinity in the 1970s. The idea to build Navi Mumbai, a township that would be constructed learning from the past mistakes of Mumbai's development, was born.
About 48 years after work around building Navi Mumbai started, the municipal body of the region is now in the final stage of working about the details of new development plan. The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), say media reports, will be ready with the first draft of its new development plan (DP) by October this year. By October 2019, the plan, which would chalk development strategy for Navi Mumbai for the coming 20 years, may be ready for implementation.
Tracking the old story
Under its Navi Mumbai Development Plan, the government in 1970 notified to acquire 159.54 square kilometre (sqkm) land under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966, and added another 28.70 sqkm to the planned area in 1973. Meanwhile, the state government in 1971 set up the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd (Cidco) to plan the new township.
Today, Airoli, Belapur, Dronagiri, Ghansoli, Juinagar, Kamothe, Kalamboli, Karanjade, Kharghar, Kopar Khairane, Mansarowar, Nerul, Panwel, Seawood, Sanpada, Taloja, Ulwe and Vashi fall in the Navi Mumbai jurisdiction.
Now, let us have a look at the key features of the old Navi Mumbai development plan:
*The state government sanctioned the General Development Control Regulations for land use in Navi Mumbai. This is why CIDCO's draft development plan that was approved in 1979 and came into force in 1980 divided the city's development zones into several segments i.e. residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, no-development zones, etc. This was done keeping in mind the fact that Mumbai's urban development was highly saturated, thus, making it chock-a-block.
*Today, Navi Mumbai covers a total area of 343.70 sq km. Of this, 50 sq km falls under MIDC, Gaothan and municipal councils. The 154,21 sq km of this area is divided among the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, no-development zone, regional park zone, and areas for developing port, airports and railways network. The gross developable land is 139.49 sq km.
*Through its land-use pattern, the development plan also promoted environment protection. Reserved green expanse under the plan will ensure Navi Mumbai does not turn into a concrete jungle.
*Another key feature of the plan is not to follow any pre-set plan. Development tools will keep changing when the need arises. This will help the CIDCO change its strategy according to the needs of the time.
*An independent township, Navi Mumbai has or will soon have everything — an airport, a port, a Metro link, a railway connectivity, among other facilities. A robust infrastructure along with affordability has earned Navi Mumbai the title of Mumbai's New Jersey. For instance, property prices in Navi Mumbai's central business district (CBD) Belapur stand at Rs 8,873 per sq ft, while rates at Mumbai's de facto CBD Nariman Point stand at Rs 28,000 per sq ft.
On the anvil
While details of the plan have yet to be made public, significant changes are expected when the plan becomes effective.
“The Cidco will not be able to sell open plots in the city by changing the rules like they are doing now. Second, residents will know what the NMMC is planning to do in which area. Politicians or civic officials will not be able to influence the pre-decided plans," Chief of the town planning department of the NMMC Momin Mohammed Hussain was quoted in a Hindustan Times report as saying.