In a major boost for revenue, the civic general body on March 11 cleared a Vacant Land Tenancy (VLT) policy. The BMC expects to earn a one-time revenue of Rs 500-600 crore from 213 plots, measuring over 125 sqft and, that will be given on lease at 62.5% of the ready reckoner rates. These include gymkhanas, cricket pitches, community centres and godowns located mostly in Dadar, Sion and Parel.
There are a total 3,600 VLT plots in Mumbai that were given on lease prior to Independence. As the lease is in the range of Rs 100-30, the BMC earns a measly rent of Rs 3.5 lakh annually. Civic officials said education institutions, petrol pumps, religious organisations, banks and private companies have come up on most of these plots.
A senior civic official said VLT plots that have been reserved as recreation grounds, or playground, or public amenity space and which the BMC can develop, will not be given on lease again. "In addition, the lease of plots that have encumbrance on them will also not be renewed. Besides, plots measuring under 125 sqft are considered as too small to be redeveloped," said the official. "But as the plots continue to be occupied by the lessees, they would get the first right for refusal." Plots on which slums have mushroomed have also not been included under the policy.
In the BMC Budget 2020-21, Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi had mentioned the VLT policy which would fetch additional revenue. On March 11, when the policy was tabled before the civic general body meeting, Shiv Sena corporator Yashwant Jadhav said all proposals to renew lease will be tabled before the civic standing committee for approval, and if the municipal commissioner rejects a particular proposal, the administration should provide reason why it was rejected.
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