Published On: Mon, Jul 17th, 2017

Housing societies on govt plots may get ownership in Maharashtra

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By Accommodation Times Bureau

The state revenue department is likely to allow conversion of collector land to freehold plots upon payment of a premium.

The move would benefit around 3,000 housing societies in Mumbai alone. There are around 22,000 such societies across the state.

Salil Rameshchandra, a resident of Chembur’s Shivshristi housing society, said conversion to freehold would rid them of red tape. “Now for every change, transfer we need prior permission from the government. The new premium and other charges for redevelopment have made the project completely unviable,” he said. Rohit Badame, a consultant for sale of flats on collector land said the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code allows the government to place restrictions on transfer of land as the plots had been granted for an objective.

“However, the collector regulates the sale, management and transfer of flats, which is not its mandate. Under the guise of regulation the collector’s office only harasses citizens,” he said.

It was in 2016 when Eknath Khadse was the revenue minister that the state cabinet approved a proposal to convert occupants’ class II land (collector land) to freehold land.

It even set up a committee headed by revenue secretary Manu Kumar Srivastava to recommend the conversion. A senior revenue official said the government would allow the conversion provided the residents are willing to pay for it. The report is expected to be submitted to the government soon, said the official.

“The state has only sold leasehold rights. It still has residual rights to these plots and if it is to give up these rights then it is only right that it charge for it. The money that will come from the conversion of these plots to freehold will only be used for development works,” said the official.

While the report is yet to be submitted, the department has increased the premium for redevelopment of buildings on the collector land from 10% to 25% of the Ready Reckoner Rate. Residents will have to pay another 1% of the RRR if they want to mortgage the land for raising funds for the redevelopment.

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