THE inquiry report into allegations of irregularities in allotment of a prime plot in Bandra to Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) was submitted to Maharashtra government Monday. Sources said the report pointed out violations at various levels, including repeated extensions granted to the company despite the latter not building anything on the land. Some violations in FSI were also pointed out, said sources.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had appointed senior IAS officer Gautam Chatterjee to look into allegations that repeated change in land use norms for the Bandra plot was allowed arbitrarily over a period spanning nearly three decades. The 3,478-square metre plot along Western Express Highway was originally allotted in 1983 to AJL, the company that once published the National Herald, the newspaper launched by Jawaharlal Nehru. The allotment was originally for a Nehru memorial, library and printing press.
The report pointed out that rules allowed the state government to take back such land if the allottee did not begin to use it for the purpose allotted. Despite this, various Congress-led governments not only permitted AJL the time extensions but also allowed change in usage norms as a special case.
While the urban development department granted AJL permission to construct an 11-storey commercial building in 2003, building permissions were sought and received only in 2013.