FOLLOWING reports that a prime plot of land in suburban Mumbai originally allotted to Associated Journals Ltd for Nehru memorial, library and press will house an 11-storey office building, the Bharatiya Janata Party has stepped up pressure on the Congress, whose leaders control Associated Journals, in the state.
On Friday, BJP secretary Advocate Vivekanand Gupta wrote to Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta seeking that a stop-work notice be issued to the construction of the company’s office building in Bandra.
“It is surprising that the Building Proposals Department has turned a blind eye to the basic lease conditions and in clear violation of the law has granted approval to a plan which is not as per the original lease condition for which the land was allotted,” Gupta has written in his letter.
He has added that building permissions were granted at lightning speed for the proposal once it was initiated, with the signatures of the deputy chief engineer, chief engineer and municipal commissioner being given within a week’s time in February 2013.
Earlier on Thursday, the BJP’s Mumbai unit chief and Bandra MLA Ashish Shelar raised the issue in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly seeking a review into concessions granted to Associated Journals in relation to the plot of land.
The plot, measuring 3,478 sq metres, was originally allotted to Associated Journals, which used to publish National Herald, the newspaper started by Jawaharlal Nehru, for the construction of a printing press, Nehru memorial research centre and a library.
For nearly three decades, the plot had remained vacant. Construction of an11-storey commercial building is now underway following the granting of building permissions from the BMC.