It is official. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA ) has finally scrapped the Rs 10,000-crore Innovation Park project because the planning authority feels that land acquisition process for this project is an impossible task. However, sources in the authority said that the reason this project was scrapped is because the Chief Minister instructed the MMRDA to concentrate more on taking up and implementing projects related to infrastructure development such as construction of multimodal corridors, expressways, metro project, among others.
Spread over 5,000 acres, the project was ex-MMRDA commissioner and ex-chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad’s brainchild. Modelled on the lines of Sophia Antipolis, a technology park in France, the Innovation Park was supposed to have been a hub for research and development activities.
MMRDA Commissioner Rahul Asthana said, “Earlier, the MMRDA was going to implement the Innovation Park project, but now the decision has been scrapped as land acquisition for this project is a time-consuming and a difficult task.” In March, it was observed that the MMRDA had put its ambitious park project on the backburner, as there was no provision of funds made for the project in the current financial year. Last year, the authority had earmarked Rs 50 crore for the project.
Plan on paper
As per the project details, approximately 25,000 scientists from around the world were supposed to work round the clock, carry out research activities in varied fields and develop products. In addition, the park would even have a facility to market these products. The park would have housed nearly 2,000 research centres of various industries. The areas of focus included pharmaceuticals, nanotechnology, bio technology, microelectronics, functional foods, biopolymers, green energy, perfumes and aromatic compounds, water technologies, clean technologies, fuel cell, efficient lighting, defence and internal security, digital media and health, among others.