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Very few leasehold owners come forward to renew license

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Nearly a month after the government issued notices to 691 owners of leasehold lands in the city asking them to renew their expired lease agreements, just over 40 people have approached the Collector’s office, officials said.

The government is working on ways to convert leased land parcels in the city into free-hold, which would enable it to sell such lands and generate revenue. A committee headed by Revenue Department Principal Secretary Manukamar Srivastava is finalising a formula for such a transfer.

An official from the Collector’s office said it received over 150 calls inquiring about procedure of renewal of lease, but only 41 lease-holders had turned up as of October 28.

There are over 1,300 leasehold plots in the island city, mostly in south Mumbai, of which the lease of 691 has expired.

In the suburbs, lease of 150 plots is due to be renewed.

The Mumbai city Collector’s office had issued a notice on October 2 which said the lease must be renewed by November 1.

Collector Ashwini Joshi said her office will consider extension of the deadline only if lease-holders requested.

“We have formed a special cell to handle leased property renewal cases. The lease of many properties expired as long as 25 years back, but they are yet to renew their licenses. Only if they ask for more time we will consider it,” she said.

A senior official said display boards would be put up on leasehold premises, so that if a housing society has been constructed on the land, residents would know that it is a leasehold land and they are supposed to renew the lease.

“The government is not against renewal of lease, but also wants to claim ownership and collect revenue if the property has been sub-leased or transferred to some other name,” the official said.

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