The MMRDA has agreed to pay the amount for the 1,400-sq m plot in Ghatkopar as part of an inter-governmental agency deal, which works out to a paltry Rs 12,000 per square feet
Land is a vital asset, especially in Mumbai where its rates are ever-increasing. But, in this case, two government agencies in a land deal settled on a shockingly low price. A 1400-sq m (just over 15,000 sq ft) of rail land went for a mere Rs 18 crore as part of the inter-governmental agency deal.
The land has been used to make the Ghatkopar Metro rail station. File pic
Earlier last month, the two agencies met wherein the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) agreed to pay R18 crore to the Central Railway (CR) for this huge plot. This works out to a paltry Rs 12,000 per square feet.
However, sources in railways said that they are unhappy with the amount agreed upon, as the market value is much higher. Industry sources said that the plot of land could be worth at least R180 crore, if current market trends are taken into account.
“The plot surely costs more, but during inter-government dealings, property prices are on the lower side,” said a CR official. A certain section of CR officials felt they should have asked for more compensation.
Whose land is it?
The issue began after the CR authorities had earlier written letters to the MMRDA stating that this plot of land belonged to them. According to MMRDA officials, they initially thought that the land belonged to the civic body.
While the Metro station got constructed, CR wrote a series of letters and submitted documents. The MMRDA then agreed to pay them accordingly.
The Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) Metro line has secured all permissions, including the most vital one from the Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS). The Metro is most likely to commence operations very soon.
A spokesperson from Mumbai Metro One Private Ltd said, “As per the Concession Agreement, providing unencumbered Right of Way and necessary land is the obligation of MMRDA.
We are sure that the MMRDA and Indian Railways will sort out issues amicably between themselves for the greater interest of the project.”
MMRDA’s Joint Project Director Dilip Kawathkar told mid-day, “The amount to be paid for the plot was communicated to us by the railways. Based on that, we will make the payment.”