MTDC signs MoU with Taj Group, leases 54.40-hectare land for 90 years

The state-run Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Hotels Company Ltd (Taj Group) to transfer 54.40 hectare of land on the 90-year lease at Mauje Shiroda Velagar, Taluka Vengurla, in the coastal Sindhudurg district.

The company proposes to invest Rs 100 crore in the first phase to set up Five Star Tourist Centre with luxury rooms and cottages. The MoU was inked in the presence of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, his deputy Ajit Pawar and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray at his official residence Varsha. MTDC & Indian Hotels Company Ltd (Taj Group) also entered into two agreements comprising of Lease Deed and Sub Lease Deed.

As reported by Free Press Journal on July 27, the state cabinet took the decision to give on lease the land to the Taj Group at is meeting held on June 9, but issued a notification in the last week of July. The government hopes that the development of proposed tourist centre will boost the economic development, increase job opportunities, encourage allied businesses and arrival of domestic and international tourists and also promote local cuisine.

There will be a creation of both direct and indirect employment in the coastal Sindhudurg district. The Indian Hotels Company had submitted a proposal way back in 1994 for providing the government land through MTDC for the construction of the beach resort. However, the project could not take off for over 25 years because it was stuck up due to the Coastal Zone Regulations (CRZ) and procedural ones.

The allotment of land has been given with a rider that the Indian Hotels Company cannot sell, sub lease or mortgage the land to any party during the lease agreement period. The company is also prohibited from transaction having provision of awarding legal rights. The land acquisition was done in phases till 1998 by MTDC. Of the 54.40 hectares, the Indian Hotels Company has paid land price and administrative cost for 52.64 hectares private land by the MTDC through the Sindhudurg district collector. The state cabinet also cleared the allotment of the remaining land to the company.

The land will be leased at Re1 rent and a one-time premium of 110% of the readyreckoner rate. Further, the company cannot construct on the part of the land which comes under CRZ-I. However, on the balance land the company can construct cottage type structures. Meanwhile, to promote tourism in the Tadoba area, the Department of Tourism and Thriving Hotels Pvt. Ltd signed a reconciliation agreement.

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