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HomeDEFENCENew authority to manage surplus, unutilized Government land

New authority to manage surplus, unutilized Government land

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government land

The government is exploring options to set up a National Land Management Corporation to monetize or commercially exploit the land assets owned by the Centre as well as central public sector enterprises (CPSEs).

The National Land Management Corporation will consider development or co-development of land belonging to Central government ministries/departments or CPSEs or Railways. All stakeholders and land-owning departments, including states or local bodies, will also get a share of the proceeds and fair compensation for releasing the land for commercial development.

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Significantly the committee headed by former finance secretary Vijay Kelkar had recommended monetizing unutilized and under-utilized government land to finance infrastructure projects in urban areas way back in 2012.

The railway reportedly owns the largest land base – almost 13,505.44 sq kms – 22 per cent bigger than Goa or Delhi while the defense ministry owns about 383.62 sq km.

It is worth mentioning that Goa has a total geographic area of 3700 sq km while Delhi, has 1483 sq km of land as its territory.

Railways, defense installations, and port trusts are the largest landowners in India. The defense land includes airbases, firing ranges, dockyards and other military establishments.

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A large chunk of this land – about nine times the size of Delhi – could be monetized or used for housing and other infrastructure projects.

The greatest irony is that unlike Railways or Defense, other government departments do not even have a specialized organization to stake claim or commercially exploit the government land leading to its encroachment. As a matter of fact many of them don’t even know the location of their land-banks and how many of them have been encroached.

According to sources, there is a need for a separate authority to maintain records and efficiently utilize the surplus land assets of government and CPSEs to raise funds for re-investment in CPSEs and for infrastructure development.

‘Surplus’ land means a property which is vacant and not required for use in the immediate future. In some cases leasing or sale of land may also be explored.

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This move has been welcomed by experts, many of whom see it as a long overdue step towards better utilization of government land. Some states such as Maharashtra and Gujarat have already started raising funds by leasing out land to the private sector.

But despite directions from the PMO some ministries and central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) are dilly-dallying in providing details of their surplus, unutilized, under-utilized or encroached land.

The department of fertilizers is the only government agency to declare a surplus land of about 17 sq km, all other ministries or CPSEs maintaining stoic silence for reasons best known to them.

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Taazakhabar News Bureau
Taazakhabar News Bureau
Taazakhabar News Bureau is a team of seasoned journalists led by Neeraj Mahajan. Trusted by millions readers worldwide.


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