NEW DELHI: The Kolkata Port Trust, which owns more than 10,000 acres of prime property in and around Kolkata, may just succeed in monetising some 100 acres of its land through commercial use. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has sought union shipping ministry's approval for effective utilisation of some 100 acres of KoPT's vacant land. Part of the port's land is currently home to some shabby real estate, several years old, fetching rent as low as Rs 10 a month.

KoPT chairman ML Meena said, "The state chief minister has sought shipping ministry approval for effective utilisation of some 100 acres of vacant land. Of this, about 30 acres have become labour colonies. If the ministry allows it, the chief minister intends to rehabilitate the encroached land."

The union shipping ministry is, however, yet to give the go-ahead to the plan. K Mohandas, secretary, ministry of shipping said that a concrete proposal has not been finalised yet. However, he added in-principle they would be willing to work with the state government for the development of the city.

The current shipping guidelines allow port authorities to use a portion of their properties for non-port related activities, but the proposal has to be sanctioned by a high-powered committee formed by the shipping ministry.

"Currently, for land matter, there is an embargo. Although, we have an existing policy but it would be designed in which ports can lease the land," Mohandas said. Any lease or licensing policy would be done only based on cabinet's approval. The cabinet approval is expected in a month's time, he added.

KoPT earns only a paltry sum of Rs 140 crore a year from its prized possession leased to different parties, primarily because a large chunk of KoPT's properties has been mired in court cases for years now. The rental earnings of Rs 140 crore is seven times more than its earnings of Rs 20 crore just seven years ago and follows a 30 % rise in rent rates sometime in 2010.

Consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers is revaluing KoPT's assets and a final report is likely to be submitted soon. The assets between the Ganges and Strand Road along with a major chuck of land, which houses factories, were last revalued some years ago. KoPT owns some 4,574 acres in Kolkata. Of this, around 2,774 acres are within the municipal limits of Kolkata, Howrah and Budge Budge and uses some 1,650-acre for its operation. Besides, it owns about 6,300 acres in Haldia.

Kolkata Port Trust may monetise 100 acres of its land - The Economic Times
Read more
0 Replies
Sort by :Filter by :
No replies found for this discussion.