MSRDC to appoint another consultant for F1 project

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Unable to find even a single open plot for a Formula One track despite help from a UK consultant, implementing agency Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has decided to hire another consultant for a peer review of identified options and the financial model.

The consultant will also have to aide MSRDC in deciding acquisition of private land around a small plot the corporation owns in Panvel, where it is considering building the F1 circuit.

"Despite shortlisting a few options, we have not been able to finalise land for the project. We are engaging a consultant now to understand what is possible and what is not, and help us in the acquisition process. We can call bids only when we have land," an MSRDC engineer said.

The consultant will be expected to assist MSRDC in signing the concession agreement and solving legal problems that might arise during the bidding process.

The corporation has decided to implement the project on a build-operate-transfer basis.

MSRDC had last year appointed a consortium of Capita Symonds and Populous to conduct a feasibility study at a cost of Rs 8.96 crore.

The consultants suggested 12 land options for the F1 track, the second in the country after Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida.

"Of the 12 options, nine were government plots. We asked the state government regarding these but there has been no response. So we are actively looking at the Panvel land," the engineer said.

MSRDC has a land parcel of about 100 acres at Adai village in Panvel taluka and will need to acquire adjoining private land. It needs 400 to 450 acres for the track and at least 600 acres for commercial establishments around it to make it self-sustainable.

However, MSRDC officials reckon land acquisition in the area would be a tedious process due to increase in demand owing to the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport and development of transport-related infrastructure in the region.

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