Updated: September 6, 2021 7:28:23 am
As many as 1,400 flats, which were provided to citizens coming under economically weaker section (EWS) category, have come under the scanner of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), which has detected “flagrant violations” of norms by the beneficiaries.
The flats, part of Gharkul project and situated at Chikhali, cost Rs 3.26 lakh each and were sold to the beneficiaries five years back under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). At that time, PCMC had laid down the rule that no flat can be sold or rented out by beneficiaries for a period of 10 years. However, during a survey conducted by the civic administration on Saturday, it was found that two flats have been sold out while 198 flats have been rented out. As many as 1,223 flats were found locked, suggesting the owners were living elsewhere.
“The flats were sold to the beneficiaries at cheaper rates on the condition that they do not have any other property or flat elsewhere in the country. This was the Central government’s policy. But in this case, it seems like they have property elsewhere too. We will investigate the matter and might even confiscate these flats if we find that the beneficiary owns another property,” Deputy Municipal Commissioner Anna Bodade, who led the survey, told The Indian Express on Sunday.
The survey was conducted on the directions of Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil who had received complaints regarding violation of rules by the beneficiaries, he added.
Bodade said the survey made it clear that the rules had been flouted. “No flat provided to the beneficiaries can be sold for a period of 10 years. The beneficiaries were provided the flats in 2016; a period of only five years has lapsed since then. Yet, we found the flats had been sold out. We are trying to find out the entire deal,” he said.
As per the rules, Bodade said, the civic body will confiscate the flats. “We will not just confiscate the flat but the beneficiary will also lose the entire amount they paid for the property,” he said.
On the issue of the flats being rented out, Bodade said, “These flats are not provided for renting out. The beneficiary has to stay in the flat. That is one of the conditions. However, it seems like the beneficiaries have other properties or flats where they are living and hence, have rented out the flats at the Gharkul project and are making money out of it.”
On the locked flats, he said, “If a person has locked the flat for a short period for some reason, we can understand that. But if it is locked for a longer period, we will find out the exact reason. If any violation is found, we will confiscate these flats as well.”
Bodade said the confiscated flats will be provided to the beneficiaries who failed to get them during the previous draw of lots. “There will, most probably, be another draw of lots or we might pick those who are in the queue as beneficiaries,” an official said.
Bodade said the department will file police complaint on charges of cheating against beneficiaries who are found to have violated the norms.
When contacted, Municipal Commissioner Patil confirmed: “The survey was conducted to take action against those who have violated the norms.”
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