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BMC defends move to lease land for Thackeray memorial at Re1 per year

“There are many cases in which municipal land is leased at nominal rent of Re 1 or Rs 51 a year,” said an affidavit filed by the BMC. The civic body was responding to public interest litigations (PIL) challenging the allotment of the Mayor’s Bungalow at Shivaji Park for the construction of a memorial for Bal Thackeray.

mumbai Updated: Mar 15, 2019 12:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Mumbai
BMC,Bal Thackeray’s memorial,lease land
Responding to contentions that the land was handed to a private trust, BMC said it was given to the Balasaheb Thackeray Rashtriya Smarak, a public charitable trust formed by the state government to look after the proposed memorial.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

The land given for Bal Thackeray’s memorial is not the only case in which municipal land has been leased out to a private body at nominal rent, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) informed the Bombay HC on Thursday. The lease for the land has been fixed at Re1 a year.

“There are many cases in which municipal land is leased at nominal rent of Re1 or Rs 51 a year,” said an affidavit filed by the BMC. The civic body was responding to public interest litigations (PIL) challenging the allotment of the Mayor’s Bungalow at Shivaji Park for the construction of a memorial for Bal Thackeray. The affidavit cited three examples – a plot leased out to Swatantryaveer Savarkar Rashtriya Smarak for 99 years at an annual rent of Rs 51 and two plots at Kanjurmarg and Wadala, leased out to Vatsalya Trust and Nana Shankarshet Memorial, respectively, for 30 years at Re 1 per year.

The affidavit added that BMC received clearances from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority and Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee for the Thackeray memorial. Responding to contentions that the land was handed to a private trust, BMC said it was given to the Balasaheb Thackeray Rashtriya Smarak, a public charitable trust formed by the state government to look after the proposed memorial. Senior advocate Milind Sathe, representing the state, said merely because it has private individuals does not mean it is not a government trust.

First Published: Mar 15, 2019 12:10 IST