"Government officials claim the move will prove to be a major boon for undertaking developmental activities like housing, public infrastructure and other projects which languish for long in the absence of NA."
Mumbai, July 16 - The Maharashtra government Wednesday decided to streamline the complicated issue of clearing agricultural lands for developmental activities, a step aimed at boosting housing and infrastructure.

According to the revised norms approved by the state cabinet Wednesday, it will be no longer mandatory for securing district collector's prior permission for Non Agriculture (NA) status for lands already earmarked for development in the development plan (DP) for various areas.

These (areas) will comprise the jurisdiction of municipal corporations and municipal councils where the DPs have already been prepared and published.

Those seeking NA for developing such lands as per the DP rules will have to apply to the local civic body and intimate the district collector and revenue department within a month.

Besides, a data bank will be created at all district levels for compiling necessary documents. Each department will not separately demand all documents from the applicants.

This is a pre-election gift from the government. Now, the entire process of acquiring NA has been transferred under one roof, the town planning authority, instead of the collector, explained senior Mumbai lawyer and land laws expert Ganesh Sovani.

He said while this will provide partial solace to builders in the form of speeding up the NA work, it is also necessary to cover the villages under its ambit to ensure fruits of development reach the remotest parts of the state.

Government officials claim the move will prove to be a major boon for undertaking developmental activities like housing, public infrastructure and other projects which languish for long in the absence of NA.

Usually, securing NA for any property takes around six months owing to a huge backlog of applications in all collectorates, involvement of multiple departments and other procedures which result in project costs escalating and delays, they said.


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