Friday, November 25, 2005

DCR58 - Part II - 14 years of pain

"But it's been 14 years of silence, it's been 14 years of pain, it's been 14 years that are gone forever and I'll never have again" - Guns n'Roses

Before outlining the BEAG's case, I'd like to run through a brief timeline of key events that shaped the 14-year long history of the Bombay Mill Land case.

1991 - Development Control Regulations formed by the Sharad Pawar-led Congress Govt. Under DCR58(1)(b) any cotton mill opting for redevelopment would have to share its land with MCGM and MHADA equally.

1996 – Shiv-Sena+BJP Govt freezes all mill-land developments and ordered a committee to prepare an integrated development plan (IDP) for mill lands. The IDP was never made since the Committee was not granted access to the mills.

March-2001 – The Congress Govt. (this time Vilasrao Deshmukh) amends DCR58(1)(b) replacing "lands after demolition of existing structures in case of a re-development scheme” of the old rule with "Open lands and balance FSI” in the amended rule.

August-2001 – The Municipal Commissioner sought clarification from the State Govt on the above amendment.

March-2003 – The State Govt issued a ‘clarification’ on Municipal Commissioner’s letter excluding post demolition open lands from sharing with MCGM and MHADA.

Feb-2005 – The BEAG files its public interest litigation on the mill land case.

April-2005 – Following BEAG’s PIL, Bombay High Court grants an interim stay on sale of mill lands.

March to July-2005 - NTC sells five mill land properties for Rs2,020crores (ref. table below)

May-2005 – Supreme Court allows sale of NTC mills as per plans approved by BIFR. However, the Bench made it clear that construction of buildings and all third party interests would be at the risk of owners and subject to ultimate result of the High Court.

October-2005 – Bombay High Court overturns NTC sales and orders all mill land sales as per old DCR58.

DateMillAreaSold forBuyer
Jun-05Apollo8acrRs180crLodha Builders
Jun-05Mumbai Textile18acrRs702crDLF
July-05Kohinoor5acrRs421crMatoshree Builders & Kohinoor Group

The next part in my series will run through the key arguments by the Petitioners, i.e. The BEAG.