The Ministry of Railways has issued a detailed circular on land management policy with a new leasing policy under which even existing players can get a 35-year tenure.

The new circular follows the recent decision by the Union Cabinet and is expected to give more clarity to bidders for the disinvestment of railway PSU Concor.

“All entities currently using railway land for cargo activities will continue to be governed by railway’s extant policies, that is annual lease/license charges at six per cent of market value of land with annual escalation of seven per cent for the remaining lease/license period or 35 years or period as mutually decided whichever is earlier,” said the circular.

However, the existing entities will be given option to migrate to the new policy regime on transparent competitive bidding process as applicable for new cargo terminals provided there are no outstanding dues, it further said.

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New cargo terminals, sidings, goods shed and other cargo related facilities can get a lease tenure upto 35 years. The lease charge for these entities is fixed at 1.5 per cent of market value of land per annum with annual escalation of six per cent.

Renewable power plants, sewage treatment, water treatment plants, water recycling plants and any such activity for exclusive Railway’s use and Infrastructure works for Public service as well as any infrastructure work under PM Gati Shakti will also have a lease tenure of 35 years.

Social infrastructure such as hospitals through public private partnership and Kendriya Vidyalaya through Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan would get a lease tenure of 60 years.

Gati Shakti framework

The Union Cabinet had on September 7 approved a policy on long-term leasing of railways land for implementing PM Gati Shakti framework. It is expected that 300 PM Gati Shakti Cargo Terminals would be developed over next the next five years and about 1.2 lakh employment would be generated with the new policy.

The Railways said cargo related activities can be taken up by any entity including railways, PSUs, existing container terminal operators, new container terminal operators, multi-modal logistics operators, industries, ports, mines and any other entity interested in carrying cargo on railway network.

Land ownership will continue to remain with Railways. “No sub-lease, sub–license, mortgage, transfer, relinquishment of railway land shall be permitted under this policy,” it further said.

Railway shall ensure to accord grant of land lease or license of cases within 90 days from date of registration on the online portal. For way leave for public utilities like electricity cables, telecom cables, optic fibre cables and water, sewage pipelines upto diameter of 300 mm, Railways till accord approval within 15 days from date of registration on the online portal.