Maha plans land monetisation of milk schemes to raise funds

At a time when the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is raising bonds to meet financial requirements, prime land parcels of state-owned enterprises appear as the most lucrative option. Accordingly, a comprehensive review is underway to utilise huge land parcels available in prime locations owned by the state dairy development and animal husbandry department.

The department is currently eyeing non-functional government milk schemes and chilling centres with approximately 159-hectare land parcels with them and mostly at prime locations in different cities. The approximate value of the land is 1,825 crore as per the ready reckoner rates.

If the land monetisation of closed or non-functional schemes fetches attractive proposals the dairy development department may consider opening of other land parcels available with the milk schemes and chilling centres that are currently in operation. According to a senior government official who spoke on condition of anonymity, approximately 134-hectare land parcel available with 44 dairies that comprise milk schemes, chilling centres and units those being operated by local cooperative milk federations. Approximate value of these land parcels is 10,000 crore.

This is excluding a few milk schemes from Nagpur and Nashik regions details of which are not available. The valuation of Worli dairy comes around 4,500 crore and that of a dairy located on close to 10 hectare in the sprawling Aarey Colony is approximately 300 crore. The state has not done valuation of the entire Aarey Colony which currently has approximately 759 hectares with the state dairy development department. Interestingly when the Aarey Milk Colony was established in 1949 it was handed over 1280 hectares of land parcel.

When asked, Sunil Kedar, Minister for dairy development and animal husbandry said, “The land parcels currently available with us can be better utilised as many of them are of no use and facing threats of encroachments as most of them are at prime locations. We are also studying a model developed by Maharashtra State Transport Corporation (MSRTC) which has undertaken a few projects of redevelopment of bus terminals located at prime locations.”

The department is also assessing the land pool available with the animal husbandry department. A study is on to monetise approximately 6,000 hectare land available at different locations in the state, sources from the department said.

According to an official, the state is currently looking for various options to raise finances to meet growing requirements in the ongoing pandemic period. The state mopped up Rs 10,500 crore through the sale of government bonds and floated a new series of bonds worth Rs 2,500 crore. The plan such as one by the dairy development department can go ahead if found feasible.

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Free Press Journal