Despite the low response from lessees on the new lease policy of the government, Mumbai suburban district collector Sanjay Deshmukh has written to the government saying plot owners will not get any extra time to respond.
On the last day of answering lease notices, less than 50% of the 129 lease land owners, about 47 who have expired lease agreements, have agreed to abide by the new lease policy that gives them an option of either paying occupancy charge (become an owner with conditions on sale and change of user) or agree to pay the new hiked annual lease rent which is almost 1,500 times. While 35 have given their nod to buying out the plots, 12 have said they will pay the renewed lease rents.
"Those who wanted to take up the options put to them - to go for class II occupancy or accept the hiked lease - have expressed their intention. Now we will hold hearings for those who have objections and send notices to others saying the new lease policy is in force," Deshmukh told HT on Friday, May 31, the cut off date given to the 129 lease landowners to reply on the government notices.
However, citizens living on lease plots feel that a more reasonable view should be taken on the policy, since not everyone can afford the hiked rents.
" The government needs to study the implications of both the options given in the policy on 400 to 500 middle class families living on these plots. We should be consulted. We are not SRK, Premji (Wipro) or Tatas to bear this kind of a burden,"Bhagwan Bhagchandani, a resident of a society at Mount Mary, Bandra said.
Utsal Karani, Secretary Janhit Manch, a citizen body agrees." The new lease rents for residential lands is unaffordable. Such exorbitantly high rents will badly hit charitable trusts as well as senior citizens residing in residential buildings on lease land," Karani says.