The BMC has decided to acquire land reserved for “garden” in its Development Plan (DP), as the civic general body cleared a proposal for the same. Municipal Commissioner I S Chahal has requested that the land acquisition should proceed with two other options along with payment of compensation to the landowner. The proposal said land can be acquired by paying compensation; however, if builder agrees, then development of the plot can move forward through accommodation and reservation policy or by providing the landowner some other land under transfer of development (TDR) policy in lieu of reservation.
On Tuesday, a meeting of the civic general body was held via videoconferencing to discuss different proposals. The civic administration has tabled a proposal of land acquisitions that have reservation of garden in Exsar, Borivali (West). According to the proposal, the owner of the plot, which has an area of 5,798 sq m, wanted to develop the land and, as per procedure, issued purchase notice to the civic body. The land acquisition process was initiated in 2018 and, this year in June, the collector’s office asked the civic body to pay Rs 180.16 crore as compensation for land acquisition.
According to the proposal, along with compensation, the owner will be offered development of land by accommodation and reservation policy or through TDR.
An official said, “Under the accommodation and reservation policy, if any land has reservation of public amenities and the owner wants to develop it, then they can go ahead. However, as per the Development Control Regulation (DCR) rules, the owner has to develop 70 per cent of the land as per reservation and the rest can be developed as per their own choice.”
The civic body has said out of Rs 180.16 crore, it has already paid Rs 83.27 crore in 2019. It needs to pay Rs 96.89 crore to the collector’s office now.
The official added, “In TDR policy, the civic body will offer the landowner some other portion for development and acquire the reserved land without paying money.”
Meanwhile, the proposal triggered a battle between Congress and BJP corporators. Opposition leader Ravi Raja alleged that BJP and Shiv Sena opposed the commissioner’s suggestion to acquire the land through TDR or accommodation and reservation policy.
“Since the BMC is facing a financial crunch, I suggested it should give TDR to landowner rather than money. Both BJP and Sena opposed my suggestion and voted against it. Following this, we logged out of the meeting,” Raja said.
The BJP, however, denied the allegations and said the Congress was trying to record this proposal, which would have benefited the owner of the land. “The commissioner’s proposal was clear. He had proposed not to pay money to acquire the land and drop the current process. Under the BMC policy of TDR and accommodation and reservation, the city will get the open space. The move by the Congress could have benefited the landowner,” said BJP corporator Bhalchandra Shirsat.