Mumbai: Maharashtra government is working on ways to transfer leased land into free hold, which would enable it to generate revenue by way of selling these plots that are currently registered under the Lease Act.
A committee, headed by state Revenue department Principal Secretary Manukamar Srivastava, has been set up to finalise a formula for the transfer.
Mumbai city collector has also appealed to the owners of land whose lease has expired to renew their agreement or else their properties would be taken back by the government.
The state government had approved the amendment in Section 29 of Maharashtra Land Revenue Code-1966 on 17 February, 2016, and the bill was passed in the previous Budget session of the state Legislature.
According to the amendment, the state has obtained the power to transfer lease land into free hold after imposing certain penalty charges on the lessee.
A revenue department official said there are 1,291 properties in the island city that are given on lease for 33, 66, 99 or 999 years, out of which the lease of 691 properties has expired.
“Mumbai collector has appealed to these lessees to renew (the agreement) or the government will take their properties back. We will either make these lessees permanent owners or take possession if they are not interested in the properties,” the official said.
The government will first decide which lease properties should be transfered as free hold, he said.
“There are some hospitals to which the state has given land for a social purpose. If we transfer the land of these hospitals to free hold, we will loose our 20 per cent free beds quota that is meant for poor patients,” he further said.
The state’s former revenue minister Eknath Khadse, who took the decision on amending the Revenue Code-1966, claimed that this reform will help the government garner revenue of about Rs 50,000 crore.
“I took several decisions during my tenure that will change the scenario of the department. However, the Government Resolution (GR) of many decisions that had been taken is yet to be published,” Khadse said.
An expert forest panel of the union environment ministry has sought a detailed report on alleged violation of forest conservation Act and mining lease at India’s oldest uranium mine in Jaduguda, East Singhbhum in Jharkhand, operating since 1967, ministry documents show. It has also deferred the Uranium Corporation of India Limited’s (UCIL) application for renewal of forest clearance that is required to operate the mine on 135 hectares of forest land, with 100 hectares of underground mining and the rest overground. The forest land, though not part of any protected wildlife area is a part of the Singhbum elephant reserve.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The UCIL is a public-sector enterprise under the Department of Atomic Energy and is responsible for mining uranium ore that is processed and fed to the country’s nuclear power plants.The regional chief conservator of forest, Jamshedpur, had submitted on record that in 2014, UCIL operated the mines even after the expiry of mining lease in violation of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, and had directed UCIL to stop all work on forest land. Accordingly, the divisional forest officer, Jamshedpur directed UCIL to stop mining on forest land. The panel noted that mining lease was granted for a period of twenty years between 1997 and 2007 but later, it could not get the lease renewed. UCIL though has claimed that Deparment of Mines and Geology, Jharkhand, has granted mining lease renewal up to 2027. Senior UCIL officials could not be reached for a comment.The expert panel while deferring recommendation for forest clearance has asked the state government to submit a report on violation of lease within two weeks along with present status of forest land in the proposed area.The panel has also asked the state authorities to clarify on the discrepancy in the dates of lease renewal and specify the period of which the mine was operating without a valid lease in violation of Forest Conservation Act, 1980.In addition to this, the state government has to also examine and submit a detailed report on under what authority UCIL was allowed to carry out the mining operations without approval of the ministry, collection of penal compensatory afforestation and additional net present value.As per UCIL’s website it is currently operating six underground mines in Bagjata, Jaduguda, Bhatin, Narwapahar, Turamdih and Mohuldih and one open pit mine Banduhurang in Jharkhand. Ore from these mines is processed in two plants at Jaduguda and Turamdih. The company is constructing a new underground mine and process plant at Tummalapalle in Andhra Pradesh and as part of its expansion is setting up new mines and in Karnataka, Telanagana nd Meghalaya.Submit report in 2 weeksThe expert panel while deferring recommendation for forest clearance has asked the state government to submit a report on violation of lease within two weeks along with present status of forest land in the proposed area. The panel has also asked the state authorities to clarify on the discrepancy in the dates of lease renewal and specify the period of which the mine was operating without a valid lease in violation of Forest Conservation Act, 1980.