The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation’s (MSRDC) has decided to lease out a prime sea-kissing plot of land it owns on Nepean Sea Road to fund its key infrastructure projects, including the Bandra-Versova Sea Link and the Mumbai-Nagpur highway.
The 1.54-acre plot next to Priyadarshini Park will be leased out for 60 years and is expected to fetch MSRDC upwards of Rs 600 crore. Whether the plot will be used for residential or commercial development will depend on the bids received.
The new construction will kill the sea view of several plush residential buildings around the plot. Some housing societies had approached the Bombay High Court in 2004, opposing any construction on the plot. Their plea was upheld with the high court in 2007 ruling that since the land was classified under Coastal Regulation Zone-1 (CRZ-1) no construction could be allowed.
The MSRDC, however, is undeterred. A senior officer, who did not wish to be identified, said the HC order pertained to a particular project and will have no bearing on MSRDC’s new initiative. He also said the developer who wins the lease bid will deal with the litigation.
A group of residents Mumbai Mirror spoke to on Tuesday said their opposition to any development on the plot will continue. “The Bombay High Court has passed orders on the matter. We will not allow MSRDC to violate any law or HC orders,” said Mukul Mehra of the Nepean Sea Road Citizens’ Forum. Mehra said their lawyers have already written to MSRDC.
Radheshyam Mopalwar, Managing Director, MSRDC said all the approvals, including a go-ahead from MSRDC Minister Eknath Shinde, are in and the process to float tenders will start soon. Along with the Napean Sea plot, the MSRDC also plans to monetize close to 1000 acres of land along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
MSRDC officials said that money generated by leasing the plots will be offered to a consortium of nationalised banks, led by the State Bank of India, as collateral. In September last year, the MSRDC completed partial financial closure for the Mumbai-Nagpur corridor, named the Hinduhridaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg, tying up loans worth Rs 28,000-crore.