MSRDC to raise funds via land bank on Mumbai-Pune Expressway

The debt-ridden Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is mulling to raise funds from the market and through its land component on both sides of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had recently formed a infrastructure panel and it is expected that the financial issue relating to MSRDC will also be raised in its first meeting.

State PWD minister Eknath Shinde claimed that during the Congress-NCP regime in the state, MSRDC failed to construct any new project across the state.

"Congress-NCP regime was nothing but the politics of revenge against each other and hence MSRDC could not work during their regime," Shinde said. He said his department has undertaken several projects of roads and tunnel development and that Fadnavis is backing his department.

"The difference between Congress-NCP and BJP-Shiv Sena government is the understanding between two allies and the complete backing of chief minister in all development projects," Shinde claimed.

On the financial position of MSRDC, Shinde said, "We can raise funds from the market. There are several financial institutions that will offer us loans."

"We will ask Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), private banks and investors to invest in MSRDC projects. We have also option to bring government bonds," Shinde said.

An elevated road and a tunnel to widen six-lane stretch to 14-lane on the existing Mumbai Expressway is the dream project of Shinde.

"It is my priority to widen the Expressway and it will cost us around Rs 7,000-crore," Shinde said. He added that Fadnavis has formed a committee on infrastructure which is headed by him. MSRDC, PWD, Finance minister and their secretaries are members of the committee.

"The proposal of widening of Mumbai-Pune Expressway will be put forward in the committee and once it is approved, we will take a decision on raising finance," Shinde said. The MSRDC has land bank and it will be used on a commercial basis to raise fund, he said.

However, Shinde refused to disclose the total area of the land bank. MSRDC owns a huge land bank on both sides of Mumbai-Pune Expressway and also at Bandra in Mumbai. Shivadi-Nhava Sheva sealink, Thane to Dombivli road parallel to Thane creek are some of the projects which MSRDC will consider doing in the second phase, Shinde, also the guardian minister of Thane, said.

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