Even as the Vododara Municipal Corporation tries to thrust a status quo over Nazarbaug property belonging to the Gaekwad royal family and in possession of Sangramsinh Gaekwad, the family’s upcoming commercial project at their Makarpura-Maneja road property in the city has also attracted the its ire.
According to family sources, Sangramsinh’s son Pratapsinh has entered into an MoU with city-based Milestone Infra for developing at least four of his properties in the city for a hefty deal. This includes two open plots on the Makarpura Maneja Road — one, the site of the extinct Mankeri bungalow that stood behind the Makarpura palace and the other, a land where the “Doctor’s bunglow” stood — more infamously called the “haunted house” by locals after several murders took place in the bungalow over the years.
The family has now come up for a commercial complex, Wings, comprising of showrooms, shops, offices as well as a multiplex at the site of an extinct Gaekwad bungalow. The booking office has already been opened at the site and the group is offering shops for up to Rs 26 lakh and office spaces for Rs 12.5 lakh in the soon-to-be-constructed complex.
However, the VMC denies it has granted permission to the family’s commercial project on their Maneja road property. Just about 200 meters away, another piece of a derelict Gaekwad land behind the Makarpura palace, where the Mankeri bungalow once stood is also on its way to get another commercial complex. Family sources say, “It is only a logical decision to develop the much neglected lands, which Pratapsinh received in his share of properties during the settlement to the 23-year-old royal dispute, in October last year. The MoU with one Milestone Infrastructure has been signed to liquidate properties lying in neglect in order to be able to maintain others like the Indumati Mahal, which is being renovated to make it the official Vadodara residence of Sangramsinhji and his family.” The Makarpura Palace is in the possession of the Air Force.
VMC Town Development Officer K L Patel says that a notice is being served upon the family to show the “approvals” for the construction.
Patel says, “The department has not received any application of permission to construct this showroom or commercial complex in the recent past. We are serving the family a notice to show any permissions they might hold from the past.”
Pratapsinh Gaekwad remained unavailable for a comment.