In a bid to generate revenue, the state government’s revenue department has decided to commercially exploit some of its properties that have been leased out. For this purpose, the department is identifying plots where the lessee has violated lease conditions so that these can be converted into “freehold” and bought and sold commercially. It has also started sending notices to the tenants who have violated lease conditions.
The idea was first mooted at a revenue department conference a few months back. “We have already started sending notices to those violating lease terms. The next step would be to check the status of prime properties and take a decision on them. In Pune, there are several such prime properties leased for either for 33 or 99 years. Now, they can be commercially exploited after taking due permissions,’’ said a top revenue official.
While the meeting had decided that these properties would be commercially exploited, a committee headed by state’s revenue secretary Manukumar Srivastava has been tasked with devising a formula for the same. In Mumbai alone, the department has identified 1,291 government properties which have been leased out. In many cases, the lease agreement has already expired.
District collectors have been asked to communicate to lessees that they should renew their lease agreements failing which their properties would be taken back by the government. “All collectors are either issuing notices or carrying out the process of taking back the government land,” said the official.
The government land in the state is lease out under two categories – first wherein the land is held by tenants for a defined period without any land use restrictions and the second wherein the tenants cannot transfer the land without government permission. Revenue officials say the decision to amend the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code, 1966, was taken early this year and the move was expected to help the state generate nearly Rs 50,000 crore in additional revenue.