Recently a novel undertaking has been initiated in Maharashtra where policemen have come together to build a smart township on the outskirts of Mumbai. The Maharashtra government has cleared the proposal for setting up an integrated township, exclusively for policemen, on a 46-hectare (113 acres) land parcel in Khalapur’s Wayal, which is just about 50 km from the commercial capital.

The Brihanmumbai Police Cooperative Housing Society, a collective formed by policemen themselves had approached the government for the permission to build the township.

Nitin Kareer, Principal Secretary, Urban Development, confirmed that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had already granted his approval to the construction project under the government’s newly revised policy for integrated townships. A formal notification in this regard will be issued in the coming few days. The proposal is to set up a smart township comprising 10,000 ownership homes for the policemen. As per the government’s policy, the housing society will be entitled to 1.95 FSI or building rights over 1.85 times the plot’s gross size.

For encouraging the initiative, the CM has ordered relaxation of norms for economic activity within the township. Although the government’s policy mandates a township developer to set aside 20% built-up space for economic activity as a measure to promote the walk-to-work concept, Fadnavis has decreased this requirement to just 10% built-up space for the township for policemen.

Additional Commissioner of Police Pratap Dighavkar, one of the main promoters of the project, said, “The homes built in the township would cater to the housing needs of police constables and widows of policemen.”

Dighavkar claimed that the housing society already owned most of the land required for the project. He, however, refused to divulge further information saying, “Once the government issues a formal notification, we plan to invite the chief minister himself to brief the media about the details.”

Sources said that the township falls in the influence zone of the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport. The City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO), a state-owned firm, has already drawn up plans to promote a mega city in the influence area. The CM has also sanctioned proposals for nine other integrated township projects under the revised policy.