Kolkata developers pay their fortune for Govt lands

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on March 12, 2018

Urban Land Ceiling Act restricts availability of large-sized freehold land

Hamstrung by the Urban Land Ceiling Act in West Bengal restricting the availability of large sized freehold land in the city, Kolkata developers are paying a fortune for lands auctioned by city civic authorities.

It's a coincidence that most of such land are available on the EM Bypass running along the Eastern fringe of the city.

From Rs 58 lakh a cottah as in 2005, developers are now forking out a 65 per cent higher at Rs 96 lakh a cottah.

In West Bengal, 20 cottah makes a bigha standardised at 1,600 sq. yard or 0.1338 hectare or 0.3306 acre.

Current prices

The current prices in the area are at least 37 per cent higher than in 2009, when the city witnessed its biggest land deal.

In 2009, the highest price at which land was sold was at Rs 70 lakh a cottah. “Land, which is free for encumbrances and is along a prime location connecting two extreme ends of the city is indeed going to command a good price,” Mr Mayank Saksena, Managing Director (East) at real estate consultant major, Jones Lang La Salle, told Business Line.

A bid by the AHW-Unimar consortium of Mr S.S. Bagari and Mr Harsh Pitodia for a two acre plot along the Eastern fringes of the city beside ITC's The Sonar hotel in May this year at Rs 96 lakh a cottah (or Rs 115 crore) is the highest price the land in the area has ever commanded.

“If you look at the land prices and the quotes one would hardly believe that we are facing the signs of recession in the economy,” a civic official said.

Multi-crore land deals

This is the second such multi-crore land deal in the city since January 2012 after Mr Sanjay Surekha of the Concast Group paid Rs 96 crore for a 2-acre plot there.

The region saw its realty boom in 2005 with the civic authorities signing a Rs 58 lakh/cottah deal.

In 2008, it got in Rs 156 crore (or Rs 55 lakh a cottah) for a 5-acre plot to DLF.

A year later it sold a 3.35-acre plot on EM Bypass for Rs 135 crore or nearly Rs 70 lakh a cottah to the Apeejay Group.

Published on June 06, 2012

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