In a big boost to the Central government-controlled Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers (RCF), the public sector undertaking can now sell the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) that it got from the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA and the BMC. The RCF had given up massive tracts of land for construction of the Eastern Freeway by the MMRDA and for road-widening projects in the area by the BMC.
The Union cabinet on Tuesday permitted the RCF to avail a construction bonanza as compensation. The move comes at a time when the public sector enterprise has initiated plans to unlock the value of its real estate assets in the financial capital. In 2010, RCF transferred 5.26 lakh square feet land it owned in the eastern suburbs to the MMRDA for construction of the Eastern Freeway.
While convention at the time was that land transfer between two government agencies took place free of cost, the MMRDA, which was keen to complete the road work in time, entered into a written arrangement with the RCF on a suitable compensation. However, no compensation was provided at that time. Eight years later, RCF cited the new state government provisions to demand as compensation 10.52 lakh square feet, or twice the land area surrendered, in transferable development rights. TDR is a floating floor space index that can be utilised elsewhere or traded.
In June this year, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis cleared a proposal permitting the RCF to avail this TDR, which can either be utilised by RCF on its own for construction activity or monetised through sale. Following the Chief Minister’s go-ahead, the state’s Urban Development (UD) department wrote to the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers conveying that the PSU can avail the TDR.
The Union cabinet gave post facto approvals to the transfer of land to the MMRDA and the BMC and selling of the TDR that the RCF got in return for its land.
“The RCF received TDR certificate of 16530 sq mtrs in November 2017 issued by MMRDA against 8,265 sq m of land as an interim relief. The claim of RCF for TDR against more land of around 40,584.74 sq m is being decided by an arbitrator,” said a senior government official.
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“RCF was asking the BMC to delete the internal roads of RCF colony from their Development Plan (DP) for a long time. Subsequently, RCF agreed to hand over about 16,000 sq m of land for construction of roads in lieu of TDR as compensation. In its DP the BMC has shown reservation of 331.96 sq m of RCF land in front of the proposed township of RCF for public road widening. As per development control rules 1991, in case of reservation on the land it is mandatory to surrender the land, as road set back area to the BMC. So the land will be hand over and TDR benefit will be availed in return,” the official added.
BMC officials said that the RCF has also demanded TDR worth another 3.52 lakh square feet in lieu of land surrendered to the BMC for road widening project. This is the first time in the state that a government agency is being compensated for surrendering land for a road project. The RCF owns about 800 acres of land in the eastern suburbs. It has plans to unlock the real estate value of close to 300 acres used for non-operational and residential purposes. Now with permission to sell its TDR, the RCF can generate funds by selling the TDR or using it for its own construction projects.
The RCF had given up massive tracts of land for construction of the Eastern freeway by the MMRDA