Real Estate

Bengal looks to ease Urban Land Ceiling Act

| | Updated on: Oct 10, 2012
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May encourage housing projects with commercial interests

The West Bengal Government is considering bringing about “some relaxation” for the developers affected by the Urban Land Ceiling Act for housing projects if it is clubbed with commercial activity.

According to Debashis Sen, Principal Secretary to the Urban Development Department and Chairman and Managing Director of West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation, the policy is on the drawing board and could be expected by March 2013.

“We are looking at framing a policy by which we can facilitate housing-cum-commercial projects,” Sen told newspersons after a meeting organised by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Wednesday.

To qualify under the proposed policy, the projects would have to dedicate about 51 per cent of the land for commercial activity and 49 per cent for housing. Further, nearly one-fourth of the houses to be developed on the 49 per cent of land should be reserved for the economically weaker sections of the society, Sen said.

The policy, which is still in the concept stage, will look at facilitating project developers in the form of exemption in land ceiling, if so required.

Under the West Bengal Land Reforms Act, private ownership of agricultural land in the State is capped at 17.5 acres for irrigated areas and 24.5 acres for areas that are only rainfed; in urban areas, private ownership is capped at 7.5 cottahs or one-eighth of an acre.

In case an entity holds beyond the stipulated limit then they will have to seek the permission of State Government or authority concerned for conversion of the excess piece of land they hold.

“Through this proposed policy we will try to provide some relief in the process of conversion as well as ease the process of providing building plan permission,” he said.

>shobha.roy@thehindu.co.in

Published on October 10, 2012

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