In order to make up for losses and to raise funds for railway developments, the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) has decided to give its 43,000 sq.m plot at Bandra (East) for lease. This decision was taken by railway ministry and Rail Land Development Authority, for raising funds for projects elevated corridors, such as Bandra-Virar. The lease period for 43,000 sq.m plot at Bandra will for 80 years. Earlier in 2014, the RLDA had put this land for 45 year lease which led to many critics from realtors, and the lease tenders are failing for four times since then.
The need for funding
The government and, the railway ministry want to build a Bandra-Virar elevated corridor under the Private-Public Partnership (PPP), this elevated rail corridor’s funds depends, on this lease. The Bandra-Virar elevated corridor involving AC rakes will become the premium corridor for suburban commute in Mumbai. A Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model will ensure better guidance and supervision of the entire project. The state government, the Railways and Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) will work towards completion of the project. The State Government and the Railways had signed a MoU (memorandum of understanding) during Prime Minister’s visit to Mumbai in December. Under the terms of the MoU, the state government and the Railways will be equally responsible for faster execution of the project. It will be undertaken on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) basis under which the government and a private entity will share the cost.
Bid for Commercial Development of Railway Land
The Bandra plot lease move will add more value to other railway plots. This lease will also help in redeveloping railway station in Mumbai, by using the funds received from this Bandra plot lease. The funds the will be raised from this lease will be used in three different parts:
- Railway projects in Mumbai,
- Railways in the State, and,
- Rail projects in India.
The railway’s failing to raise funds, land development plans will be a major fund raiser for Railways. With advertisements and tickets couldn’t bring enough funds for railway projects this land development plan will be a major game changer for railway for raising funds.
The RLDA has invited bidders for, lease for commercial development for 80 years for Bandra (East) plot. On 2 February, a pre-mid meeting will be held, and bids, will be opened on March 22.
Dispute for plot
The dispute started in September 2008, when RLDA moved to auction the plot to raise funds. The land dispute was between the State and Central Government (which was represented by Western Railway), the fight was going for almost a decade. The dispute then landed in court after the state claimed that the land belonged to it rather than the railways. The dispute was heard by Suburban Collector’s office as well the office of the Divisional Commissioner of Konkan before the state revenue minister, which later passed an order in December 2012, that the plot belonged to railways and dismissed the dispute.