Updated: June 26, 2021 9:09:08 pm
The state urban development department on Friday issued changes in the development control regulation (DCR) rules, and segregated the ongoing mill land development from the greenfield mill land development projects.
In 1991, when the government first unlocked mill lands for development, the promise was that two-thirds of the land mass would be used to create social housing and open spaces. For every corporate office, luxury apartment and mall that came up on such lands, the mill developers were supposed to give a third of the space to the city as public open space, while leaving another one-third space for housing of mill workers and construction of transit shelters for the project-affected people.
The rationale behind it was that all these lands were leased to mill owners a century ago at rates as low as a rupee, and if the land has now turned into a prime real estate, and the industry has shut down, there was no justification of appropriation of the real estate value by mill owners alone.
But most private mill owners ended up exploiting a “contentious” amendment introduced in 2001 by the state’s urban development department to this original land-sharing rule. The amendment said only vacant or open land inside such mill lands was to be considered while working out the public open spaces and the mill workers’ housing component.
However, during the term of the previous BJP government, then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who headed the urban development department, reversed the amendment.
Due to the change introduced by Fadnavis, redevelopment of four ongoing mill projects suffered. The segregation order, issued by the department, will now facilitate work on these projects.
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