Nagpur: Nagpur-Mumbai Expressway project has been put on the fast track of implementation as the state government has accelerated the initial procedures to kick start the project.
The latest development in the project is that the government has decided to pay the farmers an amount of Rs 20,000-40,000 per acre for a period of 10 years, for surrendering their land for the 710 km long expressway.
Moreover, farmers will get back around one-fourth of their land as a developed parcel along the four to six lane road. It may be mentioned that the Nagpur-Mumbai Expressway, also called the Maharashtra Samruddhi Corridor is the first project being set up by pooling land rather than by acquiring it.
Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), the implementing agency for the R31,000 crore show-piece project, has kicked off the land pooling process which will involve 50,000 farmers. This is the first time that the Maharashtra government will be pooling land for any project; hitherto land has always been acquired.
The state finance minister, Sudhir Mungantiwar told FE nearly 21,000 hectares of land would be required to build the super-fast expressway. “Of this, 399 hectares is forest land, 17,499 hectares is agricultural land and 2,922 hectares is unused land,” Mungantiwar said.
Radheshyam Mopalwar, vice-chairman and managing director, MSRDC, told FE the state government is offering farmers a price which is “significantly’ better than the prevailing market rate. “In addition we are giving them approximately 11,000 square feet of land for every acre that they hold,” Mopalwar added.
The government intends to pay farmers a sum of R20,000 per acre annually for single crop non-irrigated agricultural land for ten years. For irrigated agricultural land with a minimum two crop cycles, farmers will be offered a compensation of R40,000 per acre per annum for a period of ten years.
Moreover, once the developed land is handed to the farmer he can sell it or transfer to a third party at any time.
If a farmer has surrendered one acre, which is the average size of a holding, he stands to get one-fourth of this as a developed parcel at an “krushi samruddhi kendra” or an interchange that is nearest to the original plot. There will be 24 interchanges and 23 nodes along the super- fast access controlled road which will be built across ten districts.
Collectors of these 10 districts, are holding regular meetings with the farmers to make them aware of the scheme and to explain to them the benefits of land pooling, Mopalwar said.
“This is the first effort to get into partnership with the farmers, wherein we are giving them developed land more than even what a real estate developer would offer. Since, the land being offered is along the 24 inter-changes planned along the highway, the value realisation of the land on completion of the project will be exponentially higher,” Mopalwar said.
The government will also help farmers reskill themselves and their families.