A WINDFALL profit of Rs 1,100 crore is what contractor KS Chamankar would have made in the Maharashtra Sadan project if the deal would have seen the light of the day, according to the chargesheet filed by the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau in the case.
The ACB has identified it as an important amount to “nail the lie” of the former deputy chief minister of Maharashtra Chhagan Bhujbal in the scam. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader had undervalued the property stating that the developer would earn only Rs 2 crore.
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In February this year, the ACB had filed a chargesheet against Chhagan Bhujbal and his kin in the multi-crore Maharashtra Sadan construction scam being probed by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising officials from the ACB and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The ED had arrested both Bhujbal and his nephew Sameer in a money laundering case connected to the scam. Both are currently lodged in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail.
As per the chargesheet, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, L&T Asian Realty Project LLP had acquired the project in 2011 by entering into a tripartite agreement with Chamankars and Prime Builders & Developer Pvt Ltd. The company had engaged M/s Cushman and Wakefield to do a valuation of the project. The internal valuation report prepared by Cushman and Wakefield in 2011 stated that KS Chamankar Enterprises alone would have made a profit of over Rs 1,100 crore while L&T had pegged its profit to an estimated Rs 850 crore before taking over the project.
Sudhir Kulkarni, project head of L&T LLP at that time, whose statement is part of the chargesheet, had said the project was pegged at Rs 4,300 crore.
“The figure of Rs 4,300 crore was arrived at by Cushman and Wakefield by studying the sale of three neighbourhood plots that took place around the said period. These three properties studied by the firm were sold in Marol, Vile Parle and Andheri. Taking an average of these sales and the location of subject property, they arrived at the figure of Rs 1,6731.51 per sq feet,” the chargesheet reads.
According to the chargesheet, the revenue sharing between companies was divided as follows; L&T was to get 68.6 per cent of the share, KS Chamankar was supposed to get 27 per cent and Prime Builders was to get 4.4 per cent.
In his statement, Kulkarni stated that of the 27.50 lakh sq feet that was to be exploited commercially in lieu of constructing the government structures, Chamankar was to get 693900 sq feet and it was pegged at Rs 1,6731.51 per square feet. In this way, Chamankar would have made Rs 1,160 crore without incurring a cost of single rupee.
Cushman and Wakefield had submitted the report on July26, 2011 to L&T in which it had even enlisted the strengths and weakness of the plot. The report is a part the agency’s chargesheet. “An important arterial road in suburban Mumbai… located in close proximity of upcoming Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro corridor providing access from various micro markets…captive demand for real estate space for various assets’ classes…” are some of the strengths listed by the company. “Profile of developments in the vicinity of subject development consist of supply from unorganised real estate sector leading to dilution in positioning of micro markets,” is one of the weaknesses enumerated by the firm.
Dwelling on the role of Chhagan Bhujbal, the chargesheet states that the first meeting in connection with the scam took place on July 13, 2001 at Sahyadri in South Mumbai when Bhujbal headed the state home portfolio. “The meeting was convened for getting an NOC from RTO for the redevelopment of Annanagar and Kasamnagar slums on Andheri RTO land. Bhujbal had no mandate but he convened the meeting to favour Chamankar,” the chargesheet reads. “The meet was attended by eight people including officials from the Slum Rehabilitation Authority , RTO and associates of Chamankar,” it adds.
It adds that Bhujbal told the officials to take immediate decision in getting the land from possession of the RTO and that is how the rejected proposal of Chamankar was revived. However, in his statement, Bhujbal defended himself claiming he convened the meeting because of a law and order situation. However, senior police inspector of Oshiwara police station under whose jurisdiction the plot falls, in his statement to the ACB, stated there was no law and order situation and no police official was called for the meeting.