Mumbai mill auction may push up real estate prices

Mumbai: In a move that has caused consternation among Mumbai's environmentalists, the state-run National Textile Corporation (NTC) has decided to auction 40 acres of prime land at its four more mills located in Worli and Parel in the heart of the land-starved Mumbai.

The sale of mill lands remains a contentious issue in Mumbai with residents and environmentalists ranged against private developers and the state government as substantial portions of the 600 acre of mill land in the metro was initially meant for public amenities and low-cost housing.

Real estate prices in Mumbai, which are among the highest in the world, began to rise in 2004 and got a further boost when NTC auctioned its first set of five mills in 2005.

The state-run textile company also plans to cash in on the booming real estate and plans to develop the land on its own.

While the three properties that it plans to auction in the Worli district of Central Mumbai are expected to fetch over the current rate of Rs20,000 per sq ft its property in Parel, also in Central Mumbai is likely to net over the going rate of Rs12,000 per sq ft.

NTC's proposed auction of the mills, located in Central Mumbai, is expected to send real estate prices soaring in the metropolis as developers are expected to bid higher than the prevailing market value, as they have done in the past.