Mumbai High Court
Mumbai High Court

Bhayandar: Seventy-three years after achieving the Independence, vast tracts of land in Mira-Bhayandar continue to rema­in in shackles of a private fi­rm in existence since the Bri­tish era, making it man­da­tory to obtain its no objection certificates (NOCs) for any type of land related work. However, in a significant development, bringing a ray of hope for the local populace, the tehsildar, in pursuance of judicial directions has issued a modified order to his subordinates in the revenue wing to duly consider applications for change of mutation entries or seeking any nods on their own merits.

This in compliance with orders in December 2017 by the High Court in response to a writ petition (6751/2017). The orders followed in response to complaints filed by social activist Imtiaz Shaikh against the company for extorting money from the occupants by disputing applications for getting any permission from the authorities.

A cursory glance at the age-old records reveals that Ramchandra Laxmanji had been appointed as caretaker in 1871 to build protection walls and ensure the blockage of water in the city. Against this service, the farmers had to hand over one-third of their agricultural produce.

In 1945, the responsibility of protection was bestowed on Estate Investment Company that went on to become a superior holder in respect of land in the records of the three revenue villages, including Bhayandar, Mire and Ghodbunder. “The worst-affected are thousands of housing societies who are deprived of land conveyance because of hindrances created by the private firm on the virtue of their name appearing in the 7/12 land extracts. Hope this modified order will bring relief,” said Shaikh.

Deemed conveyance in limbo

Most of the 5,000 housing societies in the twin-city are still registered under the names of the developers or land­lords, which is bound to dep­rive the actual flat owners from benefits of future develop­ment. Housing societies with old buildings are keen on red­ev­elopment. However, they are stuck as the land is not in their name. Envisaging quick transfer of land ownership to housing societies, the state government introduced provisions allowing deemed conveyance. Unfortu­nately for housing societies he­re, it is still mandatory to obta­in an NOC from the company.

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