State mulls auc­tion­ing 93-acre prime Ban­dra plot for re­de­vel­op­ment

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Moushumi Das Gupta let­ters@hin­dus­tan­ Ke­taki Ghoge ke­taki.ghoge@hin­dus­tan­

Women aban­doned by their NRI hus­bands can soon look for­ward to help from the gov­ern­ment. The gov­ern­ment on Wed­nes­day set up a three-mem­ber panel to for­mu­late guide­lines for pro­vid­ing safe­guards to a grow­ing num­ber of vic­tims left to fend for them­selves.

Of­fi­cials said the com­mit­tee will com­prise se­nior of­fi­cials from the min­istries of home af­fairs, ex­ter­nal af­fairs and women and child devel­op­ment that will also re­vise the stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dure for deal­ing with such cases.

Dur­ing 2014, as many as 346 cases were reg­is­tered with the NRI cell of the Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Women, an au­ton­o­mous body un­der the WCD min­istry. Min­istry of­fi­cials said the num­ber is mi­nus­cule given the enor­mity of the prob­lem. “We have been get­ting huge num­ber of com­plaints from women… aban­doned by their NRI hus­bands and cases where their chil­dren have been taken away forcibly,” women and child devel­op­ment min­is­ter Maneka Gandhi told HT af­ter a meet­ing with ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­is­ter Sushma Swaraj. “We have de­cided to work on a com­mon pro­to­col to han­dle such cases and work with In­dian mis­sions in for­eign coun­tries to pro­vide suc­cour to such women.”

Af­ter suc­cess­fully auc­tion­ing off land at Ban­draKurla Com­plex (BKC), the state gov­ern­ment is now look­ing to re­de­velop a gov­ern­ment colony spread across 93 acres in ad­join­ing Ban­dra in a sim­i­lar fash­ion.

The move to mon­e­tise the land could also bring the gov­ern­ment rev­enue worth thou­sands of crores. Al­though of­fi­cials are not will­ing to risk a par­tic­u­lar fig­ure at this stage, the gov­ern­ment will earn any­where from Rs20,000 crore to Rs40,000 crore, de­pend­ing on the real es­tate mar­ket con­di­tion when the ac­tual auc­tion takes place. It also opens up pre­mium land in the city for res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial devel­op­ment. The colony is in Ban­dra (East), ad­join­ing the com­mer­cial hub of BKC — one of the prime real es­tate ar­eas in In­dia.

The Pub­lic Works De­part­ment (PWD) is likely to bring this re­de­vel­op­ment pro­posal to the state cab­i­net for ap­proval in the com­ing month.

The de­part­ment ex­pects to re­tain nearly half of the 93 acres af­ter con­struct­ing gov­ern­ment quar­ters for 5,000 staffers, be­sides building a high court precinct as a land bank, which is pro­posed to be sold.

“Ear­lier, pro­pos­als of de­vel­op­ing the colony by hand­ing it out to three de­vel­op­ers in ex­change of in­cen­tive Floor Space In­dex (FSI) was to fetch the gov­ern­ment only Rs1,300 crore. This way, we will earn more than a min­i­mal 10 times the price,” said a se­nior bu­reau­crat.

He said the gov­ern­ment was also plan­ning to hike FSI for the Ban­dra colony area to 4, to make the deal more com­mer­cially vi­able for the gov­ern­ment.

The chief min­is­ter is keen on un­lock­ing the max­i­mum value of this land, in­stead of hand­ing it over to pri­vate de­vel­op­ers, as is the es­tab­lished prac­tice.

The MMRDA has been suc­cess­fully us­ing its land bank in BKC to fund in­fra­struc­ture projects. But of­fi­cials ad­mit the to­tal quan­tum of earn­ings would de­pend on mar­ket con­di­tions.

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