Real Estate Sharks Eyeing Mumbai Prime Land


The land is the maximum treasured commodity in Mumbai. We have visible, read and heard about scams of heaps of crores in this city over land. Now there some other possible scam in making in Mumbai, this time with the help of the national government. Let’s have a look at the heritage of the new alleged scandal.

In 2007, the Maharashtra authorities repealed the Urban Land Ceilings (ULC) Act, 1976. There were heaps of corporations in Maharashtra which had more land underneath the ULC Act. As in keeping with Section 20 of the ULC Act, it turned into compulsory for the country authorities to take again greater land from corporations that shut down operations. Anything greater than 500 rectangular meters turned into more in Mumbai’s context. In the order given by using Bombay High Court’s full bench on September three, 2014, it had stated that the guideline on taking extra land from agencies became relevant even after the repeal of ULC Act. The court even requested the national authorities to apply the land for housing for the poor. The stated land turned into approximately 2,808 hectares.


The unambiguous courtroom order turned into in a way a triumph for citizens who were looking for low-cost housing. Interestingly, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) authorities in the Centre, led by way of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has assured every Indian of a personal home by 2022 under the lower priced housing scheme. But, in reality, the Maharashtra authorities has taken an contrary stance that threatens the opportunity of low-priced housing in Mumbai.

Despite clean orders to take manipulate of the whole 2,808 hectares of land in Mumbai, the Maharashtra government sat on it for two years. Meanwhile, the problem went to the Supreme Court (SC). The Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI), which became one of the respondents within the Bombay HC case, approached the SC against the 2014 order. While admitting the special go away petition (SLP), the SC issued an intervening time injunction pointing out that no coercive steps ought to be taken. This gave the Maharashtra authorities the possibility to now not do some thing for a while. The MCHI’s enchantment in SC came up for listening to in 2015 while the Maharashtra authorities filed an affidavit putting forward that MCHI had no locus standi in the case. Interestingly, in parallel parleys, MCHI ‘approached’ the state authorities to discover a way out in this kind of scenario.

Here came the U-turn by the country authorities. The Maharashtra government, which had stated in the SC in 2015 that MCHI did no longer have locus standi inside the case, got here with the new affidavit in SC. This is in 2019. This time, the nation authorities said it had agreed to the consent terms with MCHI and that the SLP needs to be settled. The authorities, which had first said that the developers’ frame has no locus standi, is now saying that it has reached a settlement with the equal frame!

What befell among the ones four years — from 2015 to 2019 — that gave cover to the state government from dealing with criticism? In July 2017, the Maharashtra authorities appointed a fee to investigate the instances related to Section 20 of the ULC Act, 1976. There have been many such pending instances. Retired SC justice BN Srikrishna became appointed for the commission, with any other member, a retired IAS officer BN Makhija.

This Srikrishna commission submitted its record in 2018 and endorse that the country government “promote the land beneath ULC Section 20” with “unmarried premium fee”. The state authorities, which had now not acted on the Bombay HC order in 2014 to take control of 2,808 hectares of land, straight away acted on those pointers. It customary the fee’s report in a cupboard meeting on November 16, 2018. On this foundation, it got here with ‘consent terms’ with MCHI on February 8, 2019. The state authorities informed the SC on February 26, 2018, about its consent phrases with MCHI and asked disposal of the case.

This eagerness of the country authorities in accepting the recommendations which can be visible to be in favor of real property sharks is questionable. Nivara Abhiyan, a Mumbai’s civil society group fighting for low-cost houses, has appealed within the Supreme Court as well as Bombay High Court. Vishwas Utagi, popular secretary of Nivara Abhiyan, said, “There turned into no need to hire the commission. Second, although it made hints on promoting land, the state government must have rejected it. The Bombay HC’s complete bench had in reality given a verdict in favor of taking manage of all the land below ULC and use it for affordable homes for the poor. In this situation, the state government labored for the benefit of corporate developers rather than terrible Mumbaikars. This is a clear contempt of the Bombay High Court.”