Kolkata Port Trust plans to lease 2,724 acres of prime land

Kolkata, Oct 15 (IANS) Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) will soon be submitting a proposal to the union shipping ministry to leasing or renting its 2,724 acres of vacant land lying in prime areas in the eastern metropolis and the port city of Haldia in West Bengal, its chief said on Thursday.

It will be earning a minimum of Rs. 1,000 crore from the leases on a recurring basis.

“We have 4,576 acres and 6,367 acres of land in Kolkata and Haldia respectively. Some of it is lying vacant and we are considering to lease it out for commercial as well as residential purposes,” KoPT chairman R.P.S. Kahlon told media persons here on the sidelines of an event organised by Bharat Chamber of Commerce.

Off the total available land, KoPT is using 2,080 acres and 2,100 acres in Kolkata and Haldia respectively for its own use to carry on port operations while another 1,780 acres in Kolkata and 2,253 acres in Haldia have been rented or leased.

“We still have 710 acres in Kolkata and another 2,014 acres in Haldia in prime locations which is lying vacant,” he said.

The KoPT has asked city’s prestigious Jadavpur University to conduct a study on using these lands to earn extra revenue. This study is expected to be submitted to KoPT by October-end post which it will be submitted to the union shipping ministry along with the recommendations.

“By November-end, we will send this report to the shipping ministry with our own recommendations and they will thereafter refer it to the cabinet,” said Kahlon.

This process is expected to be completed by December-end this year.

The union government, according to the official, is considering rolling out a port-specific policy on usage of unused lands for Kolkata, Mumbai and Kandla.

“In terms of total unused land, Kolkata has more than that of Mumbai,” he said.

Asked over the status of its existing land leases and pending dues from real estate, Kahlon said KoPT is ready to negotiate with the sub-lessees.

“We are ready to negotiate with sub-lessees in case the original lessee is not traceable and the sub-lessee is ready to clear the pending dues. Also, they have to match the highest offer,” he said.

Uncollected lease dues on the KoPT account book have climbed high to Rs. 500-600 crore.

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