The state government has decided to come up with the separate policy for the Mukesh Ambani’s special economic zone (SEZ) located at Ulwe, Navi Mumbai. “The government has decided to frame a separate policy for Ambani which will be declared shortly,” Bhushan Gagrani, CEO Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), told DNA.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and industrial minister Narayan Rane had revealed a new industrial policy on January 2 which allows corporate firms to use 40% of their total area of SEZ for the construction and sale of houses and commercial shops. Under this, 35,000 acres of land will be eligible for the construction of houses across the state. The policy however will not be applicable for the Ambani owned SEZ in Navi Mumbai.
According to sources, Mukesh Ambani, his close aid Anand Jain and Reliance Industries, owns nearly 7,500 acres of land acquired under SEZ across the state. In Navi Mumbai and Raigad, Ambani has got almost 3,500 acres of land which is close to proposed Mumbai Trans Harbour Sea Link (MTHL) and Navi Mumbai international airport. “The current property rate in localities near the Ambani SEZ is between Rs3,000- Rs5,000 per sqft. The government may open 40% of the land for the housing and commercial purpose,” said real estate experts from Navi Mumbai. “Government is testing the mood of the people with this new industrial policy. If there is not much opposition then they may allow Ambani to use 50-60% of land for construction of houses. The reasons given will be scarcity of houses and a need to ease skyrocketing housing prices,” revealed senior government officials, on the condition of anonymity.
Ulka Mahajan, the anti-SEZ activist is not surprised with the government’s decision to create a separate policy for Ambani. “While acquiring the land, the government had given him extension thrice. “During last extension, he had crossed the deadline still he was allowed to acquire the land by extending deadline in 2008. Even, initially, his SEZ website was named as the Ambani Desh. So, it is obvious that there should be separate for policy for him and his separate Desh,” she said.
“Government may tweak the policy and change the rules for Ambani, but the locals will not sell themselves to Ambani,” Mahajan said.