Free Higher Education in Exchange for Highway Land

The following article illustrates an Indian example of how different sectors can work together to achieve mutually beneficial results. Maybe a lesson to be learnt regarding our current educational crisis?

nagpurMumbai, India: The state government has decided to make higher education free for children whose parents are willing to opt for the land-pooling model for the construction of 710-km-long Mumbai Nagpur Super Expressway.

In the land-pool model, landowners are expected to voluntarily give up land for a project and in return they will be given smaller developed plots.

The decision to make higher education free for people opting for land pooling has been approved by the Cabinet and a formal government resolution (GR) on the same is expected shortly, said Kiran Kurundkar, joint managing director, Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), the implementing agency for the Expressway.

Mr Kurundkar further added, “Earlier we had decided that children of those who agree to the land pooling model will get free school education and would be offered free skill development training that includes Information Technology (IT) courses. However, to make it more lucrative and benefit the people at large, the government has now decided to give free higher education along with other programmes.”

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Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

The Mumbai Nagpur Super Expressway was announced by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in August 2015 and is one of the state’s most ambitious and game-changing projects.

The state needs around 10,000 hectares of land for the construction of the Expressway. Between Bhiwandi and Nagpur around 84 per cent of the land is agricultural land, 13 per cent fallow land and 1.92 per cent forest land. The corridor will pass through 350 villages from 27 talukas where non-cultivable landowners will get developed plot of 25 per cent of the area given up by them. For those having irrigated or cultivable land, it will be 30 per cent of the land given up.

Mumbai-Nagpur super E-way:

The state forest department in collaboration with the MSRDC will carry out a survey on the number of trees that would have to be cut down for the construction of the 710-km-long Mumbai Nagpur Super Expressway. Out of the total 10,000 hectares required for the construction, around 500 hectares comprises forest land. The forest department will carry out the tree count in the forest land and MSRDC in the non-forest land.

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Mehul R. Thakkar is a reporter for The Asian Age.

 

This article appeared in The Asian Ageon 02 December 2016

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