Rail upgrade plan may hit roadblock
The railways’ dream of funding the city’s multi-crore rail upgrade project by commercially developing 45,371 sq m of land in Bandra (East) has crashed. Rajendra Aklekar reports.india Updated: Jun 25, 2009 02:00 IST
The railways’ dream of funding the city’s multi-crore rail upgrade project by commercially developing 45,371 sq m of land in Bandra (East) has crashed.
The state government now plans to rehabilitate the slumdwellers of Behrampada, who were displaced after a major blaze gutted their homes on June 18, on the vacant plot.
Collector Vishwas Patil on June 22 shot off a letter to the Western Railway informing that the transit camps will be built on the plot.
Earlier, the railways had planned to lease out the plot for 80 years for commercial use. The money generated from the plot was to be used to fund the Mumbai Urban Transport Project-II (MUTP-II) and other rail projects in the state.
But the project was stuck following a dispute between the government and the railways over the ownership of the land.
Last year, the state government had even granted additional Floor Space Index (FSI) to the railways on the condition that it will use two-third proceeds for the Rs 5,300-crore MUTP-II and the rest for other rail projects in the state.
With additional FSI, the railways were expecting to make around Rs 2,000 to 2,500 crore from the plot.
The deal was even cleared by then railway minister Lalu Prasad after then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh met him in New Delhi in August 2008.
Last year, following complaints from a local MLA, that the land belonged to the state and not the railways, the collector had halted the process.
But the Rail Land Development Authority, which looks after land deals on railways, had recently managed to get a stay order.
Mumbai’s railway manager CP Sharma had then told Hindustan Times that the railways had documentary evidence to prove the ownership.