One of the city’s biggest land disputes – involving a 45,000sqm plot of land in Bandra – which has been going on for over five years between the state government and the railways, is now closer to being solved.
State revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat on Wednesday lifted a stay he had earlier ordered on the land, which is a stone’s throw away from Bandra station’s eastern periphery. Its ownership – claimed by the railways as its own since the days of the British rule – became disputable after a private citizen filed a case stating the land actually belonged to the state.
According to sources, Thorat has upheld documents dated 1921 and 1939 presented by the railways to prove that the land belongs to them.
Once the ownership is settled, the railways will auction the land through the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation to garner approximately Rs4,500 crores to finance railway projects in the city and other parts of the state.
On Monday, it was decided that the railways would approach the chief minister to get the stay vacated. “It was a case that was just dragging along and commuters would have been the losers because the money from the auction would go into projects under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project,” said a senior railway official.
The land’s ownership issue has been among the most contentious involving government departments.