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MMRDA to monetise 25-acre plot in Mumbai

MUMBAI: Prime 25-acre verdant land in Kurla, which once housed Mother Dairy complex, will be taken over by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for commercial exploitation. Officials said MMRDA will monetise the land to fund metro projects. The land is under state government's department of animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries. About 10,000 sqm of the dairy land (2.5 acres) was recently surrendered to MMRDA for a viaduct and station of the upcoming Metro 2B line. The dairy, shut down few decades back, will be revived and revamped by MMRDA. A residential building for dairy staff will be built by MMRDA. The remaining larger portion will be used for real estate development. MMRDA is looking at mixed-used development, comprising residential and commercial areas.

MMRDA commissioner RA Rajeev said it would be premature to say how much the authority will earn from the land, but property experts said it could be worth over Rs 1,000 crore given its location below Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road and adjoining Kurla terminus. MMRDA is expecting a floor space index of 4 to develop the land, but the property's proximity to the airport will curb the buildings' height. "The height restrictions will mean we cannot build over 12 floors,'' said the official. But the challenge will be large tree cover on the land. There are several hundred trees on the property and any proposal to hack them is likely to raise the heckles of environmentalists. But officials said the proposed development will be around the trees. "We will ensure these trees are not touched,'' they said. MMRDA recently invited bids for architectural services for development of the land. In 2017, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), executing Metro 3 (Cuffe Parade-Seepz), had also planned to commercially exploit land within the eco-sensitive Aarey Milk colony. Around 8.6 acres of 81 acres reserved for the metro car shed within Aarey was to be used for "real estate development''. MMRC had asked the government for an FSI of 3 for construction inside Aarey. This would have allowed it to build over 15 lakh sq ft worth Rs 2,000 crore. But when protests started against the metro's encroachment inside Aarey, the plan to commercially exploit the land was dropped.

February 14, 2020

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