THE STATE government Tuesday gave its nod for constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe alleged irregularities in the redevelopment of dilapidated buildings in Mumbai. However, it refused an SIT probe into the charges of corruption in awarding contracts for road work under the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Minister of State for Housing Ravindra Waikar said, “There are 103 cases where it has been noted that work on redevelopment was either incomplete or not done in accordance to the rules. Other cases where it has come to notice that developers after availing the additional floor space index (FSI) have not provided the housing stock to MHADA, which was mandatory, would be subjected to action.”
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Speaking in the Legislature Assembly, BJP member Ashish Shelar raised the issue of violation of norms in the redevelopment of dilapidated buildings in Mumbai and its suburbs. Shelar claimed the builders had availed incentive FSI in 432 housing projects in Mumbai but did not transfer flats to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and the legal owners.
BJP members Atul Bhatkhalkar and Yogesh Sagar also voiced their concern over the violations in the housing sector. They demanded that the redevelopment projects on which work was not completed in last the ten years should be taken away from the developers as was done in case of slum redevelopment projects.
The BJP members’ demand for a SIT probe into the Rs 2,400-crore “corruption” in BMC road contracts was not accepted by the government. Minister of State for Urban Development Ranjit Patil said, “The report on road contract irregularities is in final stages in the BMC. Once the report comes and if necessary we will look into the matter. All options are open.”
Several BJP members supported by the Congress and the NCP had demanded an SIT probe into the road contracts awarded by the BMC during the Shiv Sena rule. Shelar said, “The state government should come out with a firm policy on road contracts. How can the contractors who were blacklisted for substandard roads in Mumbai were allowed work in other districts.”