Developers eye prime Rail Land Development Authority plots in Metros

Just last week, RLDA has finalised a deal worth Rs 1,200 crore for one 27 acre plot in Delhi’s Ashok Nagar Area with Godrej Properties.

NEW DELHI: Real estate developers are making a beeline for unused land parcels owned by the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) which is planning to monetise 50 of its properties in prime locations in metros and tier II cities.

“RLDA has so many plots which are lying unused. The Railways is planning to monetise these lands to raise funds. There is a huge potential and so far we have identified 48 locations which would be monetised… in phases,” a senior official from the RLDA told this publication. The official added that the land can be allocated for both residential and commercial use.

In the first phase RLDA has identified 12 sites across 7 metros for revenue generation — including vacant land located in Delhi, Mumbai Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru — and is eying a monetisation target of around Rs 11,000-Rs 12,000 crore.

According to the official, all these land parcels taken together can generate nearly Rs 50,000 crore for the railways, which can be used for developing and improving existing infrastructure.

“There is a huge potential in these unused lands. The authority is also looking at redeveloping old railway colonies with an option to sell some of the houses in the open market,” the official noted.

Given the fact that these lands are situated at prime locations,  developers are ready to loosen their purse strings. “For instance, in Mumbai the plots are in Bandra, Mahalaxmi and near Lokmanya Tilak Terminal. This has attracted many developers and we have received lots of queries about them,” the official said. Sources also claim that Adani, Godrej, Tata housing and Lodha have already expressed interest in these land parcels.

Just last week, RLDA has finalised a deal worth Rs 1,200 crore for one 27 acre plot in Delhi’s Ashok Nagar Area with Godrej Properties. According to this deal, the developer will have to construct flats for the railways free of cost and Godrej will pay the Rs 1,200 crore spread over eight years with interest at 12 per cent.

Last month, the RLDA had leased out 45 acres of prime land in Mumbai to the Maharashtra government government for the Dharavi Redevelopment Project for Rs 1,000 crore. This project was also done on a similar basis as envisaged in the Godrej deal. For instance, the Railways  leased the land for 99 years, but will get new quarters for their staff, while encroachments on railway land will also be rehabilitated as part of the project. The land parcels lie between Dadar and Mahim, and Dadar and Sion.