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Maharashtra govt regularises Ambernath’s ‘illegal’ housing societies

The families, residing in homes on 830 plots across 100 acres, will have to pay 62% of the government’s unearned income as penalty.

mumbai Updated: Sep 05, 2018 06:52 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Ambernath,Maharashtra government,land allotment
The decision to regularise the properties, taken during a state cabinet meeting on Tuesday, is expected to increase the state’s coffers by as much as Rs 100 crore. (Bloomberg File)

Around 20,000 families living in Ambernath’s housing societies will breathe a sigh of relief following the state government’s decision on Tuesday to regularise illegal land transfers and other violations that have happened since 1947.

The families, residing in homes on 830 plots across 100 acres, will have to pay 62% of the government’s unearned income as a penalty. This decision, taken during a state cabinet meeting on Tuesday, is expected to increase the state’s coffers by as much as Rs 100 crore.

The matter was pending with the state government since 2005 when it decided to stay all the cases of sale, purchase, transfer of plots and redevelopments after finding violations of land allotment conditions and imposed heavy penalties.

The unearned income here would be calculated by taking the difference in price for which a plot was bought in 1947 and the price for which it was sold in any year after that. This will give all the families a huge respite as the penalty amount was initially calculated taking the current market value of plots, according to a senior government official.

Ambernath’s housing societies include the Suryodaya co-operative housing society, said to be the biggest housing society in Asia.

In 1947, the state government allotted 630 plots (each measuring 500 sq m) to 630 families for residential purposes. Around 200 adjoining plots (each measuring 200 sq m) were then allotted to 200 more families under a different scheme. Later, it was found that many of the plots were used for commercial gain, such as being sold to developers to construct residential complexes, violating conditions for land allotment, the official said.

“With the move, all these violations will be regularised against a penalty, which is 62% of unearned income,” the official said.

Ambernath’s MLA, Balaji Kinikar of the Shiv Sena, said thousands of families were affected by the state government’s stay on all housing society activities in 2005. “They were unable to reconstruct their dilapidated houses or sell it due to the restrictions imposed. Despite paying the full price, home buyers discovered themselves as illegal occupants for no fault of theirs,” he said.

First Published: Sep 05, 2018 06:52 IST