Mumbai Metro III: 30-year lease of 24 plots could cost Rs 287 crore

As per the latest proposal, MMRCL will be able to lease the plots for the next 30 years; previous proposal was rejected after corporators demanded MMRCL be charged as per prevalent ready reckoner rates

Following the failure of a previous proposal pertaining to handing over of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plots to the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL), a new version will be tabled before the Improvement Committee today.

This version proposes that the MMRCL pay the civic body a one-time premium of Rs 287 crore, following which it will secure the rights for the said plots for the next 30 years. And once this duration expires, the lease can be considered for renewal.

Hurdles ahead
In the new proposal, requests have been made to hand over 24 plots across Mumbai. However, only 17 can be given to the MMRCL immediately after depositing the prevalent ready reckoner rate. Handing over the remaining seven plots is an uphill task, as they are either mired in litigation or have DP reservation, etc.

"The decision on the proposal will be taken on Tuesday. Corporators have demanded that we charge MMRCL as per market rate," said Prakash Gangadhare, Improvement Committee chairperson.

The fallouts
While the clearance is likely to lessen the commuting woes in the future, it comes at a cost. Handing over the plots means the city losing out on open spaces, which are almost negligent, in the form of gardens, parking lots, accommodation for firemen, etc. However, since the Metro is a vital public utility, the civic body is likely to sanction the new proposal.

Rs 1 rent shot down
In January, a proposal was tabled before the Committee for allowing the MMRCL to use 14 plots on 11-month rental-basis at just R1 for each plot annually for up to five years, following which lease would be renewed. However, the corporators shot down the proposal demanding that the plots be leased at market rate. The demand stemmed from the belief that the plots, even if leased out, would be lost forever. This rejection prompted the Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Improvement) Kishore Kshirsagar to rework the proposal originally submitted by the MMRCL.

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