Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries is offering Rs10 lakh per acre to acquire single-crop (paddy) land from farmers in the Panvel, Uran and Pen areas of Raigad district in Maharashtra, where it plans to develop the proposed Maha Mumbai Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) spread across 25,000 acres. For unproductive land, Reliance is offering Rs5 lakh per acre.
These are the prices the company is willing to pay for land that is acquired by the state government from farmers and handed over to it.
According to a Reliance official, the land price offered by MMSEZ is 10 times more than the rates prescribed by the state government for land transactions in the area.
However, an individual who has transacted in land in the same area and who does not wish to be identified, says the actual value of land in Uran is much higher.
According to him, Maharashtra government agency City and Industrial Development Corporation had in February 2006 sold land in the Dronagiri area in Uran through a public tender at prices around Rs3 crore-Rs5.5crore per acre.
A firm that bought 3 acres of land, paying Rs3.42 crore per acre in the public tender, sold it within six months to a container freight station operator for Rs6 crore per acre.
“This is the best package that the industry can offer. It will become a benchmark for similar projects in the region,” Dilip Chaware, president, corporate communications of Navi Mumbai SEZ Pvt. Ltd, another Reliance project, said.
The MMSEZ has received “in-principle” approval from the government. To notify a multi-product SEZ, the developer should have a minimum of 2,500 acres in its possession.
The company is also purchasing land from individual owners at mutually negotiated prices.