Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis-led urban development’s proposal to renew leases of all schedule W properties in Mumbai became a flashpoint in the state cabinet meeting on Tuesday , with its ally Shiv Sena opposing the move.
In Mumbai, 160 prime plots come under schedule ‘W’ land category and most of them are located in upmarket South Mumbai.
It includes certain gymkhanas and the racecourse land. Of these, leases for 101 plots have expired and 47 plots are yet to expire.
The properties include Mahalaxmi Turf Club, where Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has proposed his pet theme park project. Allowing renewal of lease would put a spanner on the Sena’s project.
According to sources, Ravindra Waikar, minister of state for housing, stressed the Sena’s plan of getting an international theme park on the land should be considered seriously by the government.
This forced Fadnavis to clarify before the council that the proposal for lease renewal of the racecourse would be moved by the Sena-controlled BMC only, sources said.
The 8.55-lakh sqm racecourse plot was given on a 99-year lease to Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) , which expired on May 31, 2013. The lease has not yet been renewed.
Schedule ‘W’ plots were originally owned by the Bombay Improvement Trust (BIT) that was dissolved in 1926. The ownership of some of these lands is contested between the civic body and the state.
Sudhir Mungantiwar, state finance minister, said getting more revenue by leasing out such plots, be it racecourse or any other land, would benefit common man.
What the new policy means
The new policy means plots can again be given on lease for a period of 30 years
However, a proposal for change of user, renewal of lands having gymkhanas and race course land will need the state government’s nod, said a senior official from the urban development department, on condition of anonymity
The lease is two per cent of the one-fourth of the ready reckoner value of the plots being used for residential purpose and four per cent of one-fourth of the ready reckoner value for industrial purposes
It is five per cent for commercial purposes and 0.4 per cent for plots being given for charity, cultural and educational purposes, said a senior official.