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Relaxed rule spurs interest in integrated townships
The Times of India  |  June 6, 2019

Nisha Nambiar Pune

There has been a steady rise in the number of proposals for integrated townships across the state since the government relaxed the land holding rules by amending the Maharashtra Agriculture Lands (ceiling on holding) Act, 1961, last year.


Though 25 proposals have been received so far, town planning officials said many other developers have evinced interest in integrated township projects.


As per the amendment, there is now no restriction on developers holding more than 54 acres. The amendment allows developers to buy unlimited acres of land for development of integrated townships and construction of affordable houses in Maharashtra.


The earlier provisions of the Land Ceiling Act prevented a single buyer from acquiring more than 54 acres.


While the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) region has received proposals for around 20 integrated townships, the rest are spread out across Thane and Raigad districts in Konkan division and two in Nagpur division, said town planning officials.


“We should see more such proposals from peripheral areas with large-scale infrastructure projects being planned on the outskirts,’’ added a senior town planning official.


However, some feel that the amendment was unwarranted and will benefit developers. "Earlier, the former government had imposed restriction on buying land to ensure more land for farmers. This amendment will allow the developers to buy more land at throwaway prices and hoard it for an uncertain period,’’ said a realty watcher.


Another real estate firm felt that with the amendment in place, while the developer can take on huge tracts of land, the government needed to monitor the usage and action should be initiated in case of discrepancies. However there is another analysis too. “In large cities, people are open to residential solutions that allow them to circumvent infrastructure deficit in the heart of the city which in turn will help them improve their lives,” stated a property researcher.