Railways country’s largest landowner: Survey

The Indian Railway has emerged as the single largest landowner in the country, according to a survey.
A recent comprehensive survey by an international property consultancy firm, Jones Lang LaSalle India, reveals that Indian Railway is the single-largest owner of lands in this country which has approximately 1,06,254 acres of vacant land under its purview.

More importantly, large chunks of the railway land are lying futile especially in urban and suburban areas where there is a shortage of housing, says the study.

According to the study, defence services have approximately 17,00,000 acres of land in its ownership, but it has several departments that control this land. The survey found that the Airports Authority of India owns around 49,420 acres of land. The country’s various port authorities hold a substantial chunk of approximately 2,58,000 acres, out of which approximately 20 per cent is not usable. Santhosh Kumar, CEO — operations, JLL said, “If the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) has the objectives to maximise revenues from its assets, then the process followed by the National Textile Corporation for their defunct mill lands would probably be a better route for RLDA.” However, property market expert Sandip Sadh feels otherwise. “It is not the time for railways to press the panic button and go for bidding or commercial exploitation of its land. Let there be a national-level policy for development for such reserved land so that affordability can be considered,” he opined.

When contacted, A.K. Gupta, member of real estate and urban planning division of RLDA said that the process of inviting tenders has already begun. He said, “We are hopeful of embarking upon this process in a phased manner.”


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