MESCO’s Rs 7-crore land deal: Now,file goes missing from MIDC office

A fortnight after this paper reported that the Maharashtra Ex Servicemen Corporation (MESCO) had used charity funds,meant for welfare of ex-servicemen,in an unauthorised manner to buy land from the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC),it has come to light that the file pertaining to the land has gone missing from the MIDC office.

Written by Pranav Kulkarni | Published:March 6, 2013 1:47 am

A fortnight after this paper reported that the Maharashtra Ex Servicemen Corporation (MESCO) had used charity funds,meant for welfare of ex-servicemen,in an unauthorised manner to buy land from the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC),it has come to light that the file pertaining to the land has gone missing from the MIDC office.

MESCO,an unaudited entity,had purchased 10,000 sq metre of MIDC land at Pimpri Chinchwad for Rs 7 crore to set up an industrial zone for ex-servicemen. Interestingly,MIDC,which had initially refused to give the land,sidelined rules after the then Industries Minister Rajendra Darda and Textiles Minister Mohd Arif Khan reportedly intervened.

Also,MESCO had sought the land at Rs 100 per sq metre,and the MIDC had offered it at Rs 7,000 per sq metre thus increasing the cost of the project 700 times from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 7 crore.

P S Chowgule,area manager,MIDC,said,“The file is misplaced. Why do you want to see the file? The file does not have many documents.”

Chowgule’s senior,Ashok Bhosale,area manager,MIDC,said,“We will find the file and show it to you.”

When this reporter asked if the file could be made available within a day under RTI,Chowgule said it will not be possible in near future.

This paper had reported on February 20 how,for buying the land,the Department of Sainik Welfare (DSW) had loaned Rs 3 crore from the Flag Day Fund to MESCO without the sanction of the competent authorities,who are the chief minister/ governor.

The loan was taken from the Flag Day Fund,a charitable collection for welfare of ex-servicemen,despite the fact that MESCO had claimed profits of Rs 21 crore. The loan was to be returned by October 2011 but has yet not been repaid. These Rs 3 crore component along with what MESCO claims to be its own money,was used to buy the land at Rs 7 crore.

Earlier,when this paper had approached MIDC,Annasaheb D Chavan,deputy collector and regional officer-1,MIDC,had said,“I have no idea about the case as I have been holding this office only for about a month.”

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