Mumbai construction skyline
Mumbai construction skyline

Mumbai: Amid strong opposition from the BJP and various citizen organisations, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government on Wednesday lifted a stay granted on the Fadnavis government’s policy to convert leased government land to freehold.

To avoid controversy, the decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The revenue department had stayed the move four days ago, citing that it did not benefit the needy. Had the stay continued, it would have impacted 22,000 housing societies comprising 3,000 from Greater Mumbai.

The Fadnavis government had, last year, allowed government land given on lease to these societies to be converted into freehold land. This paved the way for giving virtual ownership rights to these societies. The housing societies, however, had to pay a premium to the government, based on the ready reckoner rate for this conversion.

According to government policy, Class I is freehold land that can be developed by the occupants to its full development potential. As far as Class II land is concerned, it is leased out by the government for housing, commercial, educational and other use.

In Greater Mumbai, lands belonging to the collector were leased out at concessional rates for residential and educational purposes, while the rest of Maharashtra lands were leased out for farming.

BJP legislator Ashish Shelar, who had made a representation for vacating the stay, has welcomed the government’s decision. "Why there was a stay, God only knows. Now, it has been lifted. Does the revenue department know about it? This is being asked as notings on the files are changed in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government even after the CM’s signature,’’ he taunted.

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