The port authorities have now realised that they sit on a veritable goldmine that can fetch massive capital.
Mumbai: The Mumbai Port Trust owns nearly 1,900 acres of commercially useable prime land in South Mumbai and South-Central Mumbai along the sea-facing eastern coast. If put to good use, this large tract of land can considerably alleviate the city’s immense housing shortage.
The prospects for developing the huge parcel of land lying unused has brightened with the recent changes in laws, though it may take years to solve the vast number of court cases between the tenants occupying these land parcels owned by the port trust.
The recent relaxation in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2018 that permits real estate activities up to 50 metres of the high tide line provides a respite to the Mumbai Port Trust. This essentially means that a lot of its land that falls within the coastal regulatory zone and where no real estate activity was permitted has opened up for use by the port trust.
However, this parcel of land is lying unused as the tenants occupying the land and Mumbai Port Trust are embroiled in several court cases that will take years to sort out.
“Some existing lessees are refusing to vacate the leased premises—even post expiry of their lease period of 100 years—or even allow the rentals to be hiked to match the current market rates. Others are engaged in long-drawn court cases commissioned by either party,” said Anuj Puri, Chairman, Anarock Property Consultants.
Despite having ownership of this land, the Mumbai Port Trust is unable to get their property vacated by several tenants whose lease periods (ranging from 1 month to 100 years) has long since expired in the absence of the port trust or the state government offering them an alternate rehabilitation plan.
The port authorities have now realised that they sit on a veritable goldmine that can fetch massive capital. However, it is definitely not as easy as it may appear since many are now trying to capitalise on this precious land, says Puri.
The land of Mumbai Port Trust, a central government facility under the Union Ministry of Shipping, is increasingly appearing on the radar of the state government and the Bombay Municipal Corporation for affordable housing projects.