The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CMDA eyes lease of plots to ward off encroachers

In a bid to curb the ‘unauthorised’ use of its land in and around the city, the CMDA is laying stress on leasing out its vacant plots and implementing other development projects. “We have auctioned land to commercial and educational institutions and are planning the same for a large part of the vacant plots,” a senior CMDA official informed Metro.

Sudhangshu Sil, chairman of CMDA’s tender committee, said plots along the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass have been auctioned to a food company for setting up a vegetable-processing centre, while two educational institutions have been given land through auction for setting up schools and an infotech institute.

“Apart from this, we have planned a joint-venture project with the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) for constructing a cooperative housing estate for the company,” Sil said. Officials said while the food company was sold two acres for nearly Rs 9 crore, the educational institutions got the plots for Rs 2.2 lakh per cottah. “Vidya Bharati got 38 cottahs, while R.N. Singh Memorial Trust got 70 cottahs on the Bypass,” a CMDA official said. Construction work in all these projects will be taken up by the owners of the plots very soon.

After its last board meeting, the CMDA authorities have decided to slap a 10 per cent service charge on the transfer of its land. Sources said the step would curb the illegal transfer of CMDA plots. Officials feel that since it is nearly impossible to stop the illegal transfer of land, legalising the transfer by paying a service charge would solve the problem and add revenue to the cash-strapped organisation.

The sources said around 400 acres are lying vacant, which the authorities want to utilise properly. “A part of these plots will be given out on lease, while in other areas, the CMDA is planning to take up more construction projects and joint ventures,” the sources added. According to CMDA officials, a number of departments, like the Gas and Distribution Network Services, the Bustee Improvement and Municipal Area Development and the State Urban Area Development wings, are now involved in housing projects. “The CMDA taking up more housing projects with private partners will generate revenue and work for these sectors,” the officials pointed out.

Encroachment on CMDA’s vacant land and other illegal use of the plots have been an area of major concern for the authorities. Plots in Lake Gardens, Baishnabghata, Golf Green, Golf Gardens, Garden Reach and Salt Lake are lying vacant and some of these are being encroached upon.

“In the recent past, a huge garage, illegally built on CMDA land in Golf Gardens, was demolished and an office complex of a public-sector undertaking oil company is being built on the land by the CMDA,” an official said. He added that such measures are being planned in the near future for other areas, too.

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