May 18, 2016 2:30:49 am
The state government is likely to develop a new township complete with administrative offices and logistics in the tribal district of Palghar. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis plans a holistic development of the district, which is facing plenty of problems including malnourishment and low literacy.
The chief minister is keen on CIDCO or MMRDA evolving the comprehensive plan for the new township in Palghar. The state government reckons that Palghar, which houses more than 50 per cent tribal population (adivasi), will have to factor in social aspects when they go for a makeover of the district. The yardstick for smart city projects modelled in other urban sectors will not work in this district, experts believe.
Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse said, “There is a vast stretch of 1,500 acres of land in Palghar. I have already discussed the matter with the chief minister for development of township complete with administrative buildings and logistics.”
Palghar district was carved on August 1, 2014, out of old Thane district. Palghar became the 36th district of Maharashtra. It comprises the talukas of Palghar, Vikramgad, Jawar, Mokhada, Dahanu, Talasari, Vada, and Vasai-Virar.
According to the census (2011), the total population of the district is 2.99 crore of which the tribal (rural) population is 52 per cent. The urban population is 48 per cent. Geographically, Palghar’s neighbourhood is districts of Thane and Nashik in east and northeast. It has Valsad district of Gujarat state on the north.
A senior officer said, “There is a growing demand from locals to have administrative officers under one umbrella. The people of Palghar have to still rely on neighbouring Thane or Mumbai for many administration works.”
However, officials cautioned, “The concept of township should not open the gates for real estate development alone. What is more significant is to address social economy of the region where tribals are still malnourished.”
The core sector where investments will have to be brought and developed includes education, health and industries. A senior Cabinet minister said, “The smart city concept will not exactly work in Palghar. We have to ensure the divide between the tribal rural and urban is bridged with comprehensive development in health, education and employment sectors.”
Some in the ministry of urban development pointed out, “Instead of piecemeal development, they should carve a separate plan for all tribal clusters dotted across districts in Maharashtra. It would include Nandurbar, Melghat, Dharni amongst others.”
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