The BMC is unable to renew the lease or acquire the land back as State govt has yet not formed a policy for the same
Mumbai : The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has leased out 4,177 plots in Mumbai to private players, out of which lease of 234 plots expired 2 year ago. It includes the Race Course in Mahalaxmi, The LIC and the Thomas Cook buildings in Fort, amongst several other prime properties in the city. However, the BMC is unable to renew the lease or acquire the land back as State government has yet not formed a policy for the same.
Moreover, encroachments have been constructed on plots, for which the civic body collects fine from the tenants. But due to lack of a clear policy, it is unable to take decisive action.
Out of the 234 plots whose lease has expired, 96 plots fall under the State government, 17 plots belong to the police department and 120 plots belong to the BMC.
Even though the BMC has drafted a policy of rules for renewal of lease, the State government is in the process of drafting one for the 96 plots under its jurisdiction, and the police department doesn’t have a policy at all for the 17 plots under it.
However, some guidelines are available for plots belonging to the State government and the BMC. For land belonging to the State government, it has directed the civic body to collect approximate rent along with interest from the tenants for the period between expiration of lease and the acquisition of land.
For land belonging to the BMC, it has to conduct an audit of the encroachments constructed on these plots by tying up with various departments of the civic body like the estate department and the roads department, for encroachments that spill onto the road. After ascertaining the fine payable by the tenant for these encroachments the BMC can renew the lease with existing tenant or decide to lease the land to a new tenant.
SVR Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner, said, “The estate department can take a blanket decision on the fines to be imposed for encroachments and for renewal of lease, only after a comprehensive policy is framed, which is in process.”
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