Navi Mumbai: The tale of City

Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Planning Board recommended considering a twin city across facilitate the separation of greater Mumbai and CIDCO was entrusted with developing necessary
social and physical infrastructure. Forty-one years later, CIDCO has carved out an eminent nest of planned, sustain and self sufficient inhabitation, out of a common, undeveloped expanse of 344 sq. km. which was once a marshy sanctuary to salt pans and paddy fields.

Navi Mumbai has become a unique project by virtue of its pattern of development, housing, social and physical infrastructure, method of finance and sustainable futuristic planning, earning the city a reputation of being a Super City and one of the largest planned city.

Polycentric pattern of development ensured balanced land and even distribution of residential areas, job centres, wholesale markets, non-polluting industry and population density. Today, Navi Mumbai is endowed with an entire gamut of infrastructure facilities.

Project and site details

1. The Navi Mumbai project began in 1971 with the formation of City and Industrial Development Corporation
    (CIDCO). CIDCO was set up by Government of Maharashtra (GoM) as public limited company under Indian
    Companies Act and is wholly owned by the GoM. In March 1971, CIDCO was designated as the New Town
    Development Authority (NTDA) for Navi Mumbai. The seed capital given to CIDCO was Rs. 3.95 cr. and it
    was expected that it would use land as resource to finance the project.

2. The Navi Mumbai project area spread over approx. 343.7
    sq.kms and contained 95 villages of Thane and Raigad
    Districts. The area covered under the project had about
    17,000 hectares of private land and an equal area of forest
    and government land. Most of the land was marshy and
    barren. Although the 95 goanthane were within the project
    area, care was taken to exclude them from acquisition and
    thereby retain their homes. The existing population in the
    project area was 1,17,000. The individuals comprised of
    village artisans, agriculture labour, fishermen and salt-pan
    workers (about 25000 original landowners). They had a low
    level of literacy or skills in the urban activities. Fishing, salt
    cultivation and agriculture were the main sources of
    livelihood. The project would entail loss of livelihood and
    require the inhabitants to develop new skills in accordance
    with requirements of the new city and hardships in the
    short run for this population.

3. To act as counter-magnet to Mumbai, the new city would have to provide the new inhabitants with all
    facilities, amenities, jobs, etc that shall equal if not better Greater Mumbai. The project was envisaged to be
    developed on a self financing basis using land as a resource and to accommodate 2 million people and
    750,000 jobs. The entire private land was to be acquired by the government and placed at the disposal of
    CIDCO. Land holdings were small and of irregular shapes, therefore, land assembly was a difficult task.
    Government lands and salt pan lands were, however, bigger in size. Inherent value of the land was very low
    because of its physical condition, quality and total lack of infrastructure in the area. Lack of resources was
    thus a major concern in the initial stages of development.

4. The project site has peculiar setting with creek on one side 
    and hill ranges bounding it on the other side. The
    combination of high rainfall in the rainy season along-with
    the high-tide in the creek makes the site vulnerable to
    flooding and efficient disposal of storm-water vital.

5. It was with this background the development of Navi
    Mumbai began. The challenges thus were manifold; to
    rehabilitate the original landowners (PAP) and to weave an
    urban fabric that would transcend both PAP and the new
    incumbent , to develop a self –sustaining city, to harness
    nature and manage the topographical constraints, to create
    jobs, housing, social facilities & amenities – all this with a
    seed capital of Rs. 3.95 crores.

The growth of Navi Mumbai was expected to decongest Mumbai in respect of both population and activities by shifting of industrial, market and office activities in a way that the new city will be sustainable physically, economically and environmentally.

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