The city’s mill owners have six months to give the municipality its share of land from defunct mills that they have sold for private commercial redevelopment since 2001.
And they have to hand over the land in one go, not in patches. In 2001, the state had allowed mills owners to sell their mill land to residential and commercial redevelopers, on condition that they give one-third of this land to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and one-third to Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA).
The mill owners, however, did not comply with the rule. The BMC is currently waiting for them to redevelop these properties. If the six-month rule is passed, the BMC and MHADA will get their share of the land within six months.
The amendment to the BMC’s Development Control rule under section 57(1)(b) was tabled before the BMC’s Improvements Committee on Monday, but was referred back after its members insisted the land be handed over according to the BMC’s demand.
Dharmesh Vyas, Congress corporator and a member of the committee, has suggested the ruled be amended with retrospective effect from 2001. “They [mill owners] tend to sell their land in patches if there are no buyers. In the bargain, even the BMC gets its share of the land in patches, and we can’t do much development on such patches. They should tell us where they will give us the land,” said Vyas.
In many cases, even the BMC’s share of land is used for private purposes. “The committee members have asked for access roads that should remain public; the developer should not use land meant for the civic body for any private use,” said Yashodhar Phanse, chairman of the committee.
“They [mill owners] don’t give MHADA its share of land, so they don’t have to come up with their housing plan on the plot,” Phanse alleged. The committee is likely to pass the amendment after the authorities issue a clarification over public usage space.