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Mumbai lands a goldmine

Nov. 29: The Maharashtra Assembly today agreed to repeal the state’s urban land ceiling law, freeing an estimated 25,000 acres of vacant private land for housing in land-scarce Mumbai.

The move comes following the Centre’s refusal to provide funds under the urban renewal mission to any state that hasn’t lifted the urban land ceiling. But Bengal, which too has such a law, today said it hadn’t yet made up its mind.

Once a committee hands in a report, the decision will be taken by chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee who had a year ago said he was against lifting the ceiling to prevent “land-grabbing by promoters’’.

Maharashtra’s move to lift the 31-year-old, 10-acre limit for individuals and trusts could lower real estate prices, some analysts said. The market price of the entire freed-up land is estimated to be Rs 2,00,000 crore.

The Bengal urban development minister said the state had time till 2012 to revoke the ceiling before the central funds were cut off.

 

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