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2 prime amenity plot allotments to be revoked

The state had allotted these plots to charitable trusts and other organisations,which were supposed to develop them. MHADA will revoke the allotments for plots that have not been developed till date.

NEARLY a year after the state housing board conducted an internal inquiry on its amenity plots allotted to charitable trusts and other organisations before 2003,it has started taking back those that the organisations failed to develop. MHADA recently wrote to the state,recommending cancellation of the allotment of two such prime plots in Oshiwara.

“We will send notices to the rest of the allottees who have not developed the plots. It should have been done much earlier,” said Satish Gavai,chief executive officer of MHADA. “After revoking the allotment,we will tender out these plots for development of amenities,” he added.

Of the 67 allotments by the state government between 1999 and 2003,there are 39 cases where beneficiaries have,for several years,failed to take possession and develop the desired amenities on the plot.

The two cases in which MHADA has sought revoking the allotment pertain to Nargis Dutt Charitable Trust,of which Congress MP Priya Dutt is a trustee,and the Saishraddha Cooperative Housing Society. Both are in Oshiwara,the first being a 10,000-sq m plot meant for a hospital while the second is a 2,222-sq m residential plot.

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In the first case,the trust eventually voluntarily surrendered the plot due to issues over payment. “The bone of contention was money. The trust was requesting that it be charged a rent of Re 1 per year. MHADA was asking for Rs 21 crore,but then brought down the asking price to Rs 11 crore after negotiations,” Gavai said.

He said after the trust failed to deposit the amount,MHADA sent a letter to the state saying the allotment should be revoked. But before any action could be initiated,the trust wrote to MHADA saying it wanted to surrender the plot. A 2009 CAG report had criticised the deal saying it had been tailored to give undue benefits to the trust.

“In Saishraddha’s case,we recommended cancellation as the land was not developed despite repeated notices,” said Niranjankumar Sudhanshu,chief officer of MHADA’s Mumbai board.

Both the organisations could not be reached for comment.

First published on: 20-05-2013 at 02:13:07 am
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