Development rights to be sold for 49 plots of land on the riverfront

AHMEDABAD: The Sabarmati riverfront project is poised to undergo a major policy change. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), which oversees the project, is drafting a new policy for the sale of 49 plots of land on the riverfront.
The new policy will offer developers the option of acquiring development rights for the plots for 99 years, instead of buying them outright. This means developers will pay a fixed amount to the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Limited (SRFDCL) for the right to build on the plots, but will not own them. The AMC hopes this will attract more bidders and create greater competition, as well as ensure that the plots are developed according to approved plans.
“The idea of selling development rights is inspired by the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), the smart city project near Ahmedabad that has adopted a similar model. SRFDCL, a joint venture between the AMC and Gujarat government, has been studying the GIFT City policy and comparing it with the earlier policy of selling plots based on their footprint, permitted height and built-up area,” said a senior SRFDCL official.
The previous policy, which was announced in 2016, had set high prices for two plots that were auctioned by the state government. One plot, measuring 1,280 square metres, had a price tag of Rs 100.64 crore while another plot, measuring 2,240 square metres, had a price tag of Rs 66.45 crore. These prices deterred potential buyers.
In January 2021, SRFDCL floated an expression of interest (EOI) for the sale of 49 plots on the riverfront, inviting proposals from interested parties by February 2021. The EOI listed the areas, heights and construction specifications for each plot, where the land-use purposes ranged from residential to commercial to mixed-use. The total built-up area of the 49 plots is estimated to be around 14 lakh square metres.
The AMC is weighing two options for selling the plots on the riverfront, according to a senior SRFDCL official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. One option is to set the price of the plot based on its size, height, and construction, as previously planned. However, this could result in very high prices that deter potential buyers. The other option is to sell the development rights for the plot, which would allow developers to build on the plot for 99 years without owning it. This option is inspired by the GIFT City policy, which is being studied by the AMC.

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