With blessings from Mantralaya’s sixth floor, a scam worth Rs 1,000 crore. Constitute an inquiry by the CID – demanded BJP leader MLA Adv. Ashish Shelar
Mumbai: One acre five guntha government owned plot of land situated on the strategic beach side of Taj Hotel at Bandstand at Bandra West has been sold to one Rustomjee Builder at a throw away price. Who is behind this deal? Is there any connection of any minister from the sixth floor of Mantralaya, questioned Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and MLA Adv. Ashish Shelar, further alleging that this is a scam worth Rs 1,000 crore.
The BJP is on a spree of exposing the corrupt practices of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state through its ‘Pol Khol’ campaign. Speaking to media persons here at the BJP’s Dadar office on Thursday MLA Adv. Ashish Shelar uncovered yet another land scam during the tenure of the Thackeray government. How the government sold one of the strategic plots at rock bottom price to a builder was exposed by MLA Adv. Ashish Shelar where he submitted all the documentary evidence highlighting the corrupt practices.
Detailed information in this regard is as follows:
A plot of 1 acre 5 guntha land adjacent to Taj Hotel at Bandstand in Bandra West Assembly constituency has been leased to The Bandra Parsi Convalescent Home for Women & Children Charitable Trust (BPCHW&CCT) since 1905. This reserved space was given to this trust to treat patients. However, this trust did not utilize the space allotted for the said purpose.
Also, the lease of this land expired in 1980. According to the 2034 development plan of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), this plot has been reserved for a Rehabilitation Centre. Before this plot could come into the possession of the government with the expiry of the lease agreement, an advertisement was issued for the sale of the land in 2020. And then by 2022, the government granted all the necessary permissions to sell this land. Which minister from Mantralaya’s sixth floor is behind this deal needs to be ascertained, questioned MLA Adv. Ashish Shelar.
This plot that was reserved for treating patients was sold to a developer Rustamji for a paltry price of Rs 234 crore. The land valuers fixed the value of this plot at Rs 324 crore, which is far less than the market value. This plot was sold at a much lower price i.e., Rs 234 crore. As a result, the revenue received by the government by way of stamp duty was also less. Considering the market value of the land and the FSI received as per the development control regulations, after deducting all the expenses, the developer will receive a benefit of nearly Rs 1,003 crore. Given the evaluations, the said plot was sold to this developer at Rs 234 crore only. Being one of the prime heritage properties, the trust will now barely get 12,000 sq. feet from the builder whereas the builder will be able to develop and sell 1,90,000 lakh sq. feet of the property.
Since this plot was a government-owned property, the government was supposed to take it in its possession immediately after the termination of the lease. Also, even if, according to Class II, had the property been sold by the government, the government would have earned crores of revenue. But the government instead indulged in transactions that will benefit the developer. In 2020, when the trust announced to sell this plot, the government did not object to it.
On the contrary, the government worked as a facilitator for the sale transaction. The Charity Commissioner gave permission to sell this land. The government permitted the sale of this land after the chief charity commissioner gave the permission for the sale of this land just two days before his retirement. Hence this entire transaction seems to be suspicious.
Also, this property has not been properly evaluated by the appraisers. As a result, it has cost the government crores of rupees. And hence Shelar demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the said deal. He also demanded that the transfer of land must be stalled and that the BMC must not allow any construction proposals on this said land.
The entire transaction must be stopped and the government must institute a CBI probe into it, demanded MLA Adv. Ashish Shelar. Bandra West is one of the elite areas and the land prices here are exorbitant. But there are attempts to sell off these lands in a similar manner. Earlier also, there was a huge plot of land near the beach at Carter Road, Bandra West where the reservations were altered and it was sold to a developer in a similar manner. MLA Adv. Ashish Shelar had exposed and had also agitated against that deal.
Scam in wastewater recycling project
The BMC floated tenders for a waste water recycling project. In order to ensure that the contractors, who have filled the tenders at a higher price get the contract and to benefit the contractor, the BMC escalated the project cost. The project cost that was Rs 16,000 crore in 2020 has now been increased to Rs 25,963 crore only to ensure that the contractor quoting higher price bags the contract. All of this has been hatched in the BMC headquarters only.
Also, it has been revealed that the state police, from their headquarters, conspired to kill Mansukh Hiren. It is shocking to see how under the Thackeray government’s tenure, government plots are being sold from Mantralaya, project costs are being increased from the BMC headquarters for the benefit of some contractors and how the police machinery is plotting to kill ordinary citizens from their headquarters. This is nothing but a picture of how the state is marching towards anarchy.