NAGPUR: The state government had given big relief to 11,000 nazul plot owners by giving them status of freehold land. However, the government does not have any plan to give similar freehold status to Nagpur Improvement Trust’s (NIT) 60,000 leasehold plots and flats, though their case is similar to nazul plots.
The state cabinet on February 12 approved freehold status to nazul plots at a premium of 5% for residential and 10% for commercial and industrial land. Just like in nazul lands, the lease holders of NIT’s flats and plots had also paid at the rate of ready reckoner (market) value. Still, they are paying ground rent at 2% of total value of their flats or plots every year.
Also, they are not owners of the properties as ownership vests with NIT. They are also paying property tax to Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), and have to take NOC from NIT for any activity like sale or purchase on the plots or flats.
Sources in the government and NIT told TOI there are no plans in the offing to give freehold status to NIT leased flats and plots.
NIT trustee Virendra Kukreja said NIT lease holders should be given one time settlement (OTS) scheme to pay ground rent, which will give relief to them and also prevent revenue loss to NIT. “Funds received from OTS should be spent on providing basic amenities in unauthorized (Gunthewari) layouts. Condition of unauthorized layouts is very bad,” he said.
Unfortunately, NIT is not implementing OTS despite a scheme being approved by the government in September 2016. OTS was planned following directives from CM Devendra Fadnavis.
BJP corporator Dr Ravindra Bhoyar and Congress corporator Praful Gudadhe said NIT lease holders are forced to pay double tax , which is an injustice. “There is no question of leasehold after they purchased flats and plots by paying market value to NIT. Therefore, government should relax the rules as was done in nazul case,” they said.
Lease holders of NIT’s commercial plots are major sufferers. Businessman Prashant Ugemuge said ground rent on plots leased out at nominal rate was fine but not for plots procured at market value. “Ground rent on commercial plots is so high that all are facing huge losses,” he said.
Some of NIT’s plots and premium flats, especially at Bhamti and Giripeth, are lying abandoned for years due to the norm of ground rent. So, relaxation is likely to benefit NIT also.
NIT had started to lease out plots and flats since 1983. Many areas in the city especially in West, South-West and South Nagpur are NIT leased out plots and flats.
Prominent areas are Bajaj Nagar, Shankar Nagar, Abhyankar Nagar, Trimurti Nagar, Shivaji Nagar, Dattatray Nagar, Nandanvan, Reshimbagh, Hanuman Nagar, Shiv Nagar, Janki Nagar etc.