A proposal for IFSC was cleared by the MMRDA in August 2015, to develop a global financial centre.
Mumbai: The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is unable to finalise the designs and master plan of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ pet project — International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). The design of IFSC is stuck due to the ongoing tussle between the Railways and the state government over allowing construction of underground bullet train terminal on the same plot reserved for IFSC.
“The design of the IFSC stuck due to the difference of opinion over the construction of underground terminal at BKC. If underground bullet train terminal is permitted, there won’t be space for underground parking for IFSC. If Railways’ demand is not accepted, underground parking would be possible. But the final design can be only conceptualised after the issue is concluded,” said a senior MMRDA official.
According to MMRDA officials, the ongoing study by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) over determining additional Floor Space Index (FSI) in BKC and Wadala would also be a factor while preparing the master plan of IFSC.
The construction of the IFSC is already mired in controversy. Railways wants the plot reserved for IFSC to construct underground Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train, which is a pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is also monitored by the Prime Minister’s office (PMO).
Pravin Darade, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, said, “Our consultant is going to sit together with all the concerned agencies to chalk out a plan and prepare the design of IFSC smoothly.” MMRDA had appointed a consultant in October 2016 in order to prepare a master layout plan of IFSC. A proposal for IFSC was cleared by the MMRDA in August 2015, to develop a global financial centre.
Maharashtra vs Gujarat
It is said that union ministry of commerce hasn’t yet notified the BKC plot as special economic zone because the Maharashtra government is competing with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project, the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), in Ahmedabad. The state had earlier urged the Centre to relax SEZ norms for BKC to accommodate vertical development, but the Centre had rejected the proposal of 20 hectares, citing minimum requirement of 50 hectares. However after the proposal was rejected, the state sent another proposal of 50 hectares.