In view of hundreds of Mumbai buildings which could not be redeveloped due to flat owners’ discontent, President Ram Nath Kovind has given the nod to three state bills, including a legislation, to ease the procedure of reconstructing dilapidated buildings or a complex of buildings in Mumbai.
The bills that have been approved by the president include the Maharashtra Apartment Ownership (Amendment) Bill, the Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling (Amendment) Bill 2015 and the Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling (Amendment) Bill, 2017, confirmed a home ministry official.
A number of structures in the city could not be reconstructed as the residents feared building collapse and other such problems.
However, as per the new legislation, the consent of 51 per cent of the residents will be required for reconstruction or repair of old and dilapidated buildings, the official said.
The legislations will ensure that land which is unsuitable for farming and is surrounded by factories can be given to the industries that are keen on expanding operations.
The Maharashtra Apartment Ownership (Amendment) Bill will facilitate reconstruction of old and dilapidated buildings, especially in Mumbai, by allowing "majority consent of the owners instead of unanimous consent".
The Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling (Amendment) Bill, 2017 seek to amend the Agricultural Land Ceiling Act, enacted in 1960.
Allotment of land to industries is allowed as per a provision in the 2017 bill. This land will be required to make available equivalent quantum of land in lieu of land given to them by the government.
As per the old Agricultural Land Ceiling Act, 1960, a person could not own an agricultural land beyond a certain limit. The Act also empowered the government to acquire surplus land from such owners.
The Act helped bring parity, since the government could not allot land acquired from influential people to those who did not have agricultural land.
The first bill was proposed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat.
The bill however, was opposed and rejected by the then UPA government after which it was returned to the state.
The bill was also opposed in 2015 by the opposition Congress in Gujarat on grounds that the amendments to the bill defeated the purpose of the original Act of 1960.