The government of the western India state of Maharashtra has hit upon a plan the will help regenerate its largest city, Mumbai, remove under-performing and vacant properties from its inventory, and boost the state’s budget simultaneously.
Their new plan will release more developable, state-owned, leased land in this space-starved commercial capital of the country. In a move that will unlock more buildable space in Mumbai, the Devendra Fadnavis government has announced a policy permitting private redevelopment or urban renewal of the properties.
While the plan will apply to long-term leases across the state, Mumbai, which has the highest number of land tenures, will be impacted the most.
In Mumbai city district, where land prices command a premium, the government has granted 1,282 long-term leases. Of this, 691 are up for renewal.
Enabling the government to monetize its land parcels, the new policy states that developers interested in redeveloping the lease lands would have to pay a premium to the state government.
The state’s revenue department, which is the custodian of such properties, will collect a premium of 25% of “ready reckoner” value of the property for permitting residential, commercial and industrial redevelopment. For redevelopment for educational and religious purposes, the premium payable would be 12.5 per cent.
Ready reckoner (RR) values are market values of the property determined by the government every year.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India had earlier come down heavily on the Maharashtra government for mismanagement of revenue lands leased to private institutions and trusts.
Maharashtra is best known for its fast-paced capital, Mumbai (formerly Bombay), a sprawling metropolis that is the center of the Bollywood film industry. The state also boasts sites like the British Raj-era Gateway of India monument, and cave temples at Elephanta Island. In its south is the rustic, beach-lined Konkan Coast. In the city of Pune, Aga Khan Palace is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi.
Feature photo is Mumbai’s Dhobi Ghat, the world’s largest outdoor laundry (via Adobe Stock).