CIDCO signed an MOU for development of NAINA Megacity near Mumbai

NAINA – An upcoming real estate destination near Mumbai

Last updated on May 23, 2017 by Manish Kumar

Lately, the biggest news items originating from Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, have concerned the massive infrastructural projects planned in and around the city. Arguably the biggest of these is the new Navi Mumbai International Airport project, which is meant to reduce the pressure on the existing airport. Allied to this project is the even bigger Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (NAINA) project, which is to come up next to this airport, but has been relatively under the radar. Based on sheer scale, size and planning, NAINA is one of the most ambitious projects seen in India. It envisages the construction of a new megacity in the Thane and Raigad districts of Maharashtra, which will spread across parts of Navi Mumbai, Panvel, Pen and surrounding areas. In this article, we examine the need for this project, some details regarding it and its likely impact on the area. NAINA: …

NAINA – An upcoming real estate destination near Mumbai

Lately, the biggest news items originating from Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, have concerned the massive infrastructural projects planned in and around the city. Arguably the biggest of these is the new Navi Mumbai International Airport project, which is meant to reduce the pressure on the existing airport. Allied to this project is the even bigger Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (NAINA) project, which is to come up next to this airport, but has been relatively under the radar.

Based on sheer scale, size and planning, NAINA is one of the most ambitious projects seen in India. It envisages the construction of a new megacity in the Thane and Raigad districts of Maharashtra, which will spread across parts of Navi Mumbai, Panvel, Pen and surrounding areas. In this article, we examine the need for this project, some details regarding it and its likely impact on the area.

NAINA: The Need

Mumbai, the city of dreams, attracts a large number of people from across the country. However, being an island city, there are limits to the city’s growth and the population it can support. With a population density of 21,000 people per square km (2011 census), space is at a premium and the ever-increasing demand for housing has pushed property prices to unaffordable levels for the vast majority of the population. A need to decongest Mumbai by creating a satellite city has long been felt. Navi Mumbai was conceived for this reason; it too has got filled up rapidly and thus, proved insufficient to handle the ever rising real estate demand.

Site of the Navi Mumbai International Airport, around which the NAINA megacity is planned to come up
Site of the Navi Mumbai International Airport, around which the NAINA megacity is planned to come up (Image credit: Mid-day.com)

In a similar vein, the current Mumbai international airport is already handling more than its designed capacity of 40 million passengers a year and cannot be expanded at its current location in Santa Cruz. Flight delays have become common. Hence, the urgency for a second airport was felt and after a detailed process, a large land parcel of 2,320 hectares between Kharghar and Panvel in Navi Mumbai was chosen for it. With the airport scheduled to come up by 2019, many commercial establishments are planned as well.

This is where NAINA comes in. It is to cater to both the demand for affordable housing in the Mumbai Metropolitan area as well as house several commercial and industrial establishments and support services for the new airport. It is also envisaged to serve as a major multimodal transport and logistics hub, well-connected by land (road and rail), sea (JNPT port) and air (the aforementioned airport).

NAINA: The Plans

The proposed size of NAINA is truly humongous. With an area of 561 square km, NAINA is 1.5 times larger than Mumbai itself. It is expected to support a population of 80 lakhs. The development cost has initially been projected at approx. Rs. 2.1 lakh crore. CIDCO, the agency behind the development of Navi Mumbai, has also been entrusted with infrastructural development of NAINA, while individual developers have to come up with plans for newer establishments.

Map indicating Mumbai Trans Harbour Link linking the island city to the planned NAINA megacity and Navi Mumbai International Airport
Map indicating Mumbai Trans Harbour Link linking the island city to the planned NAINA megacity (Image credit: Dnaindia.com)

NAINA will also include the much-awaited Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link project, linking JNPT port to Mumbai port and the Mumbai Multimodal Corridor. As a pilot project, CIDCO will develop a 37 sq. km area near Panvel, for which the development plan is ready. NAINA, similar to Navi Mumbai, will comprise of a number of small cities or nodes catering to education, IT, trade, healthcare among others.

NAINA has followed a policy of land pooling among a large number of project affected farmers, who only need to hand over 40% of their land to CIDCO for infrastructure development. These farmers will benefit from the better infrastructure and increased land rates in the area, as well as get additional floor space index (FSI) in compensation.

NAINA: Issues involving the project

As with any other major project, NAINA too has seen its fair share of teething troubles. There have been delays with regards to the development plan for NAINA on the CIDCO side. In addition, many of the initial proposals from developers for housing schemes in the proposed megapolis have not been approved for a variety of reasons.

Proper planning and implementation is essential if NAINA is to achieve its goals of decongesting Mumbai, while establishing itself as a major alternative trade and transport hub. Considering the importance of this project, one can hope that these problems are ironed out in the near future.

NAINA: A Promising Future

What cannot be in doubt is that NAINA offers a good opportunity to decongest Mumbai and become an address for affordable/budget housing. Catering to a large population within its limits, NAINA is likely to generate plenty of employment opportunities and thus, attract people from nearby areas as well as from further away. NAINA’s proximity to both Pune and Mumbai will also make the Pune-Mumbai industrial corridor a reality and lead to further development of the hinterland.

The benefits of having an affordable home in a well-connected area cannot be overstated, particularly in a city like Mumbai. NAINA has been built on the premise of being an affordable housing destination and this factor has attracted many reputed developers to this area as well as Panvel and other neighbouring areas.

For investors, it represents a potential goldmine with rapid infrastructural upgrades likely to provide opportunities for very good returns on their investment. For those looking for a second or vacation home, NAINA’s proximity to popular destinations such as Lonavala, Khandala and Alibag make it an appealing option.




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