Fresh NMC move to revive ‘stalled’ Orange City Street Project

NMC Nagpur
Nagpur: Besieged by setbacks after setbacks, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), it seems, has launched an exercise to revive the ambitious Orange City Street Project. The project even otherwise is in limbo for more dubious reasons than one.

The civic body, years back, had announced the Orange City Street Project in the constituency of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. But the ‘dream’ project remained a distant dream. Mainly due to vested political interest and dismal attitude of top babus of NMC’s Town Planning Department, Estate Department, Laxmi Nagar Zone and other concerned authorities. If sources are to be believed, at least 15 works have been carried out ‘illegally’ in the land reserved for the Orange City Street project. The works include construction of temporary and permanent roads under the pressure of local leaders. This dubious act has not only reduced the ‘Orange City Street’ land into pieces but also left it ‘shrunk’. This aspect left the dream project stalled for years together.

Now, in order to revive the project, Nagpur Municipal Corporation has published an advertisement and floated a Notice Inviting Tender; 2nd Call with revised Request For Proposal (RFP). The contents of the tender notice mentions an area of 77 acres on Wardha Road, about two kilometres from International Airport, belongs to Nagpur Municipal Corporation. The end use of the land is Mixed Use. NMC is intending to develop and market an integrated Orange City Street Project – Mixed Use Urban Complex on this site. NMC is hereby calling for proposals from reputed national and global consultants to be appointed as the Transaction-cum-Sale Management Adviser for this prestigious project.

Apart from Bidding Process Timelines, the tender notice mentions the detailed RPF document and other details are available online on the government website www.mahatenders.gov.in.

However, irrespective of NMC’s exercise vis-a-vis the fresh tender to revive the Orange City Street Project, the dream project would see light of the day is doubtful, to say the least. The babu apathy and vested political interest may spell doom for the project. The fact that the project has remained only on paper, despite it being in the Chief Minister’s constituency, tells the sorry tale. There is clearly a lack of understanding between multiple agencies involved in the project. Often local interests at many levels become a stumbling block in the execution of the project, source said.

It may be recalled that the land for the project was reserved from Narendra Nagar Flyover T-Point to Hingna T-Point. Earlier, the State Government had given this stretch of land having a railway line to Defence Ministry. Goods trains used to run on this line from Nagpur to MIDC area. There used to be only one road across the rail line for both way traffic. However, after some years, the State Government took back the land from Defence Ministry under “Exchange of Land” norms and gave it land of same measurement in Dehu near Pune. Subsequently, railway rakes ceased to run on this line. Later, this land came under the district administration’s possession.

Thereafter, during hearing of PIL filed in the High Court the State Government was directed by the court to ‘develop’ the said land and hand it over to Nagpur Municipal Corporation for ‘proper’ use. Subsequent to the court directives, the NMC purchased the entire land from district administration for Rs 2 crore. Later, NMC spent around Rs 2.5 crore for construction of safety wall on entire land.

After some years, NMC gave some portion of this land to MSRDC for construction of flyover from Narendra Nagar T-Point (Ring Road) Radisson Blu Hotel Square on Wardha Road. Thereafter, the NMC initiated a project named “Landon Street” on the remaining land from Wardha Road to Hingna T-Point. But, as the project failed to materialise, as usual, the NMC converted the “land use change” of this land into ‘commercial’ land. This project was given a new name i.e. ‘Orange City Street.’

Ironically, during the processing of the measure, at least 15 temporary and permanent roads were constructed on this ‘Orange City Street’ land from Jaitala Road to Wardha Road ‘illegally’ at the behest of Town Planning Department, Estate Department, Laxmi Nagar Zone and some top officials. And the beneficiaries were some white collared elements. The entire safety wall of so-called ‘Orange City Street’ is in ruins. 30-40 percent portion is in the grip of encroachers. In sum, the land of the ambitious ‘Orange City Street’ project is getting ‘shrunk’ day by day and thus the project seemed to be in limbo.