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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Fadnavis tweaks yet another Act to avoid land acquisition hurdle

Move to pinch owners of private plot reserved for public purposes

Written by Sandeep A Ashar | Mumbai | Published: January 2, 2015 3:38:50 am

Owners of private plots reserved for public amenities in Maharashtra’s urban agglomerates will now have to hand over additional built-up space free of cost to utilise the plot’s complete development potential.

To improve implementation of development plan in cities, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has tweaked the policy regarding development of public amenities under accommodation reservation- which is an urban planning tool for development of public reservations without land acquisition.

Under accommodation reservation, an owner of a plot can avail the entire floor space index (FSI) permissible on a plot reserved for public amenities in the development plan after utilising a portion of the plot’s built-up space for setting up the amenity, which has to be now handed over free of cost to the town planning authority. FSI is a development tool that defines the extent of construction. It is the ratio of built-up area to the total area of the plot.

According to government sources, Fadnavis has approved a proposal for increasing the extent of built-up amenity space to be provided from 15-25 per cent to 50 per cent.

The urban development (UD) department, which Fadnavis heads, is expected to issue a formal notification in this regard in the next few days.

Since accommodation reservation rules out land acquisition proceedings while permitting the owner to utilise the full development potential of the plot, it is a popular tool for development of buildable social amenities such as markets, hospitals and dispensaries, among others.

The government has argued that the current arrangement lends itself to an unfair advantage to owners, especially in regions such as Mumbai where land prices have skyrocketed.

The latest modification will mean the owner would have to hand over a larger built-up space for the public amenity, which would require additional construction cost.

Senior state officials argued that the move would improve implementation of the development plan. They admitted that the state’s present record in this regard was woeful. In Mumbai, for instance, less than 10 per cent of the prevalent DP has been implemented.

On Wednesday, The Indian Express had reported how Fadnavis had incentivised the policy for acquisition of land for public purpose reservations with the help of Development Right Certificate (DRC), which is also referred to as Transfer of Development Rights.

Senior officials said both policy decisions were taken in the light of increase in cash compensation and fresh obligations imposed by the Land Acquisition Act, 2013.

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