Mumbai, Jun 29: The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) has decided to revoke the controversial allotment of 39 public housing plots in land-starved Mumbai to politicians, their educational or charitable trusts, and even some real estate firms, among others, reports Indian Express.
The move comes a month after The Sunday Express reported that two chief ministers — Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushil Kumar Shinde — had given away 67 prime plots in the financial capital, some of them in violation of rules, between 1999 and 2003. In April 2004, Bombay High Court stopped the preferential allotment of land meant for public housing and amenities.
The 39 plots spread over 17 hectares whose allotments are to be revoked include some that were given away before 1999, when the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance ruled the state, MHADA officials said. The decision to revoke the allotments has to be approved by a MHADA committee before it can be implemented.
Once approved, the cancellations will free up much-needed land for public housing. MHADA is currently left with just two hectares in the city.
The authority revisited these allotments and ordered an internal probe in March this year after opposition parties raised the issue of allotments under Deshmukh and Shinde, both of whom are now union ministers.
The 39 plots include a 3,552 sq-m plot in Malvani given to NCP cabinet minister Jayant Patil's Kasegaon Education Society, a 10,000 sq-m plot in Oshiwara given to Nargis Dutt Charitable Trust of which Congress MP Priya Dutt is a trustee, and plots in Bandra (East) allotted to Ajit Sawant, a former general secretary of the Mumbai Congress, and Congress MLC Subhash Chavan.
Land allotted to Dinshaw Trapinex Builders and Blue Star Realtors in Andheri, a four-hectare mangrove stretch in Versova sanctioned for 3M Gymkhana Private Limited, and a three acre plot sanctioned for a senior police officers' housing society in Mulund are also set to be canceled. The last two are located in the sensitive Coastal Regulation Zone, officials said.
Although these 39 plots were allotted before the 2004 high court order, the beneficiaries, MHADA officials said, had not taken possession, and the housing board last week put them on the list for cancellation. These allotments were pending for more than eight years for lack of certain compliances or non-payment of dues, they said.
MHADA vice president Satish Gavai told The Indian Express that the board was only following the directives of the high court which had ordered the allotment process to be made more transparent.
“I am yet to see the list of plots but as per the high court directive we will be looking at what stage the allotment of the plot is in and cancel allotments that have not been handed over as yet,” Gavai said.
The authority's meeting in July is expected to approve the cancellations, following which the MHADA board would look at constructing affordable housing on these plots, he added.
Jayant Patil's Kasegaon Education Society: 3,552 sq m in Malvani, sanctioned Mar 2002
Nargis Dutt Charitable Trust: 10,000 sq m in Oshiwara, sanctioned Oct 2000
Cong leader Ajit Sawant: 272 sq m in Gandhi Nagar, Bandra (East), sanctioned Aug 2002
Cong MLC Subhash Chavan: 1,000 sq m in Gandhi Nagar, Bandra (East), sanctioned Dec 2002
Blue Star Realtors: 1,593 sq m in Andheri, sanctioned Aug 2003
Dinshaw Trapinex Builders Pvt Ltd: 1,111 sq m in Versova, sanctioned Aug 2003
Maharashtra Police Federation: 8 acres in Mulund, sanctioned March 1998