Announcement on Indu Mill land transfer likely today

The state government clinched the Indu Mills deal after a meeting of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday evening with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Maharashtra Congress chief Manikrao Thakre and other leaders from the state.

"The meeting was positive and we expect an announcement regarding the transfer of land. Issues related to the transfer of land have been resolved. We are happy and satisfied that we have been able to complete a commitment we made in the election manifesto three years ago," Thakre told The Indian Express after the meeting in New Delhi.

For the second day in a row, Chavan led a delegation of Congress MPs to meet Union Textile Minister Anand Sharma seeking a resolution for transfer of prime land for an international memorial for Dr B R Ambedkar as Dalit groups pressed for a commitment before Ambedkar's death anniversary on December 6. On Tuesday, Sharma said an announcement would be made on Wednesday afternoon in the Parliament regarding the transfer of land for the memorial.

The delegation, along with Chavan, had a long discussion with Sharma in the morning, a day after the two leaders met to seek a resolution to the land issue. While Sharma had indicated that transfer would be difficult before the anniversary but an announcement cementing the transfer of land for the memorial is expected.

In a release, Sharma said legal and technical hurdles had to be examined before the land transfer. He added that the plot was originally privately owned and taken over by the NTC in 1974. "There was a clause that the plot should be used for industrial use. CM intervened and got the rules relaxed. After this, the issue remained regarding resolving issues related to the Central government. However, they have succeeded in resolving all technical issues," the release read.

The state government is seeking 12.5 per cent land belonging to National Textile Corporation (NTC) within the premises of the Indu Mill Number Five. Last year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had granted an in-principle approval for the memorial when an all-party delegation met him. A committee of central and state government officials was formed to work out the modality of the prime Central Mumbai land-granting Transfer of Development Rights, partial value of the land worth crores and so on. There were also technical aspects as part of the land falls in Coastal Regulatory Zone.

Though the government has said that efforts are on to transfer the land, RPI leaders have threatened an agitation if the decision is not taken by December 6.

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