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Maharashtra approves new policy to speed up transfer of govt land, hikes cost for six power plants

The policy allows implementing agencies such as MMRDA or BMC to take the land required for projects in advance from the department that owns it

mumbai Updated: May 29, 2017 09:06 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra,cabinet,land acquisition
Under the new policy approved by the Devendra Fadnavis-led cabinet, the implementing agency has to submit an application to the revenue department for the required land. (HT)

The state cabinet on Tuesday approved a new policy, which will expedite transfer of government land for public infrastructure projects such as metro corridors, coastal roads, new ports, etc.

The policy allows implementing agencies such as Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) or Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to take the land required for projects in advance from the department that owns it, thereby reducing delays.

Senior government officials said on an average land transfer from one government department to another agency or department takes at least six months. In many cases, delay in transfer of government land for public projects led to delays of one to two years, which increases project costs.

Under the new policy, the implementing agency has to submit an application to the revenue department for the required land. The proposal will be tabled before the state cabinet or the state cabinet subcommittee on infrastructure. The compensation and the conditions for land transfer from one agency to another will be finalised in these meetings.

“It took eight months to transfer a piece of land owned by the culture department at Bandra-Kurla Complex for Metro 3 project even after the chief minister intervened. In some cases, parent departments ask market value rates or lay down hundreds of conditions before granting a no-objection certificate or a go-ahead for the transfer. This is not possible under the new policy,” said a senior government official.

He added that the same format had been used to clear the Metro 3 project and it helped them transfer 96 parcels of land within seven months.

Sources said that with the Devendra Fadnavis government pushing for the construction of big-ticket infrastructure projects, including four metro corridors and the coastal road, by this year-end, the policy was essential. The policy will also be made applicable retrospectively to those projects which have got cabinet clearance but not got the government land.

Cost of building 6 power plants hiked by ₹4,357 crore

The state cabinet also approved cost escalation of six coal-based thermal power units under three projects by Rs4,357.31 crore, or about 25%.The three projects, which have already been commissioned, were originally estimated to cost Rs18,755 crore in 2008.

The cost escalation was owing to the delay in completing these projects, the hike in input costs, the rise in interest rates and additional administrative costs, according to the energy department of the government. The sole power plant under the Parali project will now cost Rs2,081.30 crore compared to its earlier estimate of Rs1,375 crore. The outlay for the three power units under the Koradi project has been revised to Rs14,026.59crore from Rs11,880 crore. The two power plants under the Chandrapur project will cost Rs7,004.42 against an earlier estimate of Rs5,500 crore.The government has also decided to raise Rs1,203.54 crore, or 80%, of the escalated cost for the Chandrapur unit through loan, while the rest will be funded by the state government as capital investment.

Similarly, while giving the nod to the revised administrative approval for the Parali unit, the cabinet said it would fund Rs91.60 crore as capital cost for the project. The remaining amount of Rs614.70 crore will be raised through loans and internal sources of the power generation company.

The department has also stated that the remaining units of the power projects will be completed in a time-bound manner to meet the increased power demand.

First Published: May 17, 2017 00:03 IST