Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has notified land compensation rates for nine of the ten districts that the ambitious Mumbai-Nagpur Prosperity Corridor will run through.
Radhyesham Mopalwar, vice-chairman and managing director of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), said that rates have been notified for land to be acquired in the districts of Nagpur, Wardha, Amravati, Washim, Buldhana, Aurangabad, Jalna, Nashik and Thane.
“Only the rates for Ahmednagar district have to be notified," Mopalwar added.
District collectors of these districts, who under the Land Acquisition Act have the powers to acquire land and award compensation, have notified the rates. Mopalwar said the rates notified differed from district to district and even village to village.
“There cannot be a uniform rate because each piece of land has its own value. There are parameters like location, distance from the road, dry land or irrigated, farmland or fallow, etc. All these parameters and many more have been taken into account to arrive at the compensation rates," Mopalwar said.
The notification of land compensation rate follows completion of the joint measurement survey (JMS) carried out for the entire 700km distance of the expressway, mandatory under the Land Acquisition Act of 2013. This survey is a prerequisite to determining the land compensation rates.
On Friday, Nashik district collector B. Radhakrishnan announced the rates for land spread over 49 villages in the district that would be affected by the project. The minimum rate for dry land has been fixed at Rs41 lakh per hectare and at Rs84 lakh per hectare for irrigated land, the collector told reporters.
“The government will pay one-and-a-half times this rate for dry land and twice for irrigated land as compensation," Radhakrishnan said.
Farmers in Nashik, Ahmednagar and Thane districts have been at the forefront of opposition to the project on the grounds that farm land under lucrative horticulture crops was being acquired. Political parties like the Nationalist Congress Party and the Shiv Sena have supported these farmers.
In Vidarbha and Marathwada though, the two regions that may benefit most from the project, there has not been much of a protest.
The Rs46,000 crore, 700km-long and 120 feet wide Mumbai-Nagpur corridor will run through 10 districts, seven of them in Vidarbha and Marathwada, and connect 14 most backward districts of Maharashtra with Mumbai and Nagpur via the high-speed expressway.
The MSRDC is the nodal agency for the project and plans to borrow between Rs35,000 crore and Rs40,000 crore from 19 lenders.
The expressway proposes to bring down the road travel time between the two cities from 16 hours to six when it is completed in 2020. The project will need around 10,000 hectares and the MSRDC has estimated Rs10,000 crore on account of compensation.
While no land has yet been acquired, the MSRDC aims to wind up land acquisition by 30 September this year and begin work in October.