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Maharashtra govt mulls using government land to generate TDR

The state is seriously considering if TDR or buildable rights can be generated over land owned by Railways, defence, courts and prisons.

mumbai Updated: Mar 23, 2018 10:47 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra government,cash-strapped,TDR
The state is considering if TDR or buildable rights can be generated over land owned by Railways, defence, courts and prisons. (HT File)

In a contentious move to mop up resources for the state exchequer, the cash-strapped state government is planning to examine if Transferred Development Rights (TDR) can be generated over Central and state-owned lands where development is restricted.

If one goes by the government order issued by the finance department on Wednesday, the state is seriously considering if TDR or buildable rights can be generated over land owned by Railways, defence, courts and prisons.

Besides this, the state is also willing to consider if TDR can be generated over national highways, roads, national parks, ports, forts, and land falling under the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ). The redevelopment over all these lands is restricted for reasons including protection of ecology, security, among others.

TDR refers to additional buildable rights that are given as a compensation to a land owner for surrendering land owned by them for a public amenity. These buildable rights can be transferred to any other plot from where it has been generated. The TDR is traded via certificates which can be purchased. Most redevelopment projects in the city rely on TDR along with incentive floor space index (FSI) for maximizing construction on a plot, often at the cost of the city’s infrastructure.

Read more: Housing redevelopment projects on private roads in Mumbai can get TDR benefits, says state govt

“The lands owned or controlled by the Centre or the state such as railways, defence, heritage CRZ, courts, prisons, national parks, roads and highways, ports, forts, etc, under the control of public sector units can be opened for development by generating floating TDR. TDR can be legally traded to raise resources for various development schemes,” states the government resolution (GR). The GR has set up a six-member study group led by principal secretary (expenditure) RA Rajeev to study this concept and make suggestions for its implementation. The committee has been given six months to submit its report.

“A citizen from Pune had made certain suggestions to the government over this. A meeting had been held last month to discuss the issue and at that time, there was a consensus that one can explore online trading of TDR certificates to make these realty transactions more transparent. However, this aspect of generating TDR on Central or state-owned lands like railways is not really feasible,’’ said a senior official, who did not wish to be named. The citizen who made the suggestion is also part of the study group. Rajeev was not available for comments.

Planning experts have panned and ridiculed the move. “TDR is an urban planning tool and it cannot be used as a commodity to raise resources for the government. One cannot generate TDR out of thin air. One needs to consider where it will be deployed because it has to be utilized in sync with amenities and infrastructure created in that area,’’ said Pankaj Joshi, executive director of Urban Design Research Institute. Joshi in a wry comment questioned why the state government had left out generating TDR over the Arabian Sea.

The civic government recently issued tenders for an online solution to digitise TDR certificates to make the transactions more transparent. Once digitized, TDR certificates are to be linked with the civic body’s online platform

First Published: Mar 23, 2018 10:47 IST