Govt drafting township policy for leasing land owned by major ports

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is drafting a township policy that will lay down rules for commercial exploitation of land other than those needed for port and related activities at major ports.

The move is aimed at raising funds for port development and meeting expenses, including pension fund liabilities, by leasing land owned by ports such as Mumbai, Kolkata and Deendayal (in Kandla) outside the Custom bonded areas for as much as 99 years to develop real estate including multi-storied buildings, commercial and residential complexes, officials said.

Rental issues

Mumbai, Kolkata and Deendayal ports own huge tracts of land in the township areas which have been occupied by tenants for decades.

“The ports are not getting market rent from the tenants and attempts to get them vacated have not been successful,” the official stated.

The township policy is expected to bring clarity on leasing land located in the port’s township areas as well as resolve long pending disputes between port trusts and tenants.

The 12 ports owned by the Centre follows the land management policy approved by the Cabinet in 2014 for leasing land for port and related operational activities in Custom bonded areas.

These ports own 2,57,616.65 acres of land of which some 50,000 acres are in surplus or not in use.