Extend rent act to buildings on port trust land to prevent eviction: Maharashtra LA speaker

March 6, 2024

MUMBAI: Maharashtra legislative assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar on Tuesday asked chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to issue an ordinance amending the Maharashtra Rent Control Act to include residential and commercial tenants of 4,000 buildings on Mumbai Port Authority (MPA) land. MPA was formerly known as Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT).

Narwekar met MPA chairman Rajeev Jalota recently and gave directions to the body to not issue any eviction notice or take coercive action against tenants living in buildings on MPA land between Colaba and Wadala. Maharashtra Rent Control Act stipulates that rent can be increased by 4% every year but since it does not cover MPA tenants, at the moment, the body has hiked its rents and schedule of rates based on its 2015 amended Policy Guidelines on Land Management by Major Ports (PGLM).

Narwekar said he would soon visit New Delhi and take up the issue with the Union shipping ministry and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The tenants have asked for renewal of lease for 30 years, regularisation of breach and subletting. “It is necessary to amend Section 3 of Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999, and an ordinance should be issued immediately. I have made this request to CM Eknath Shinde and DCM Fadnavis. Thousands of families and commercial establishments don’t get any protection that BMC and Mhada tenants get. The ordinance must be issued immediately so that residents can get relief,” he said. Political observers said providing protection from eviction and hike in rents was an important issue in South Mumbai, especially ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. They said Narwekar, an MLA from Colaba, is a key contender for the seat from BJP and taking up this issue would help him reach out to residents across Colaba, Mazgaon and Sewri.

“Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999, covers matters relating to rent, landlords and tenants. Under this Act, rights of both landlords and tenants have been secured. MbPT has a huge chunk of land in Mumbai on which many buildings have been built and thousands of families have been living in them for years. There is ambiguity as to whether or how provisions of Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999, apply to residential and commercial establishments on MPA lands. So, if there is an ordinance, MbPT tenants will get protection too,” an official said.

  • Published On Mar 6, 2024 at 09:28 AM IST

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