The sprawling Shaheed Dunichand Kalani school and college in Ulhasnagar are the pride and joy of former MLA Pappu Kalani. Named after the controversial neta’s uncle, the institutes now needs a new lease on life, and land.
The state urban development ministry has directed the municipal corporation to take possession of the plots on which the school and college stand, as their lease expired in 2006. On January 19, urban development minister Bhashkar Jadhav directed (copy available with MiD DAY) Ulhasnagar municipal commissioner to seize the grounds and report to him about steps taken.
The school and college run by Shaheed Dunichand Kalani Trust. Pics/Navneet Barhate
The move came after a complaint made by sitting city BJP MLA Kumar Ailani. On December 23, 2012 Ailani wrote to Jadhav (copy of letter with MiD DAY), demanding action against the institute and also municipal corporation representatives.
According to the complaint, on September 16, 1990, civic officials allotted these lands (UMC property no 57 and 106) to Shaheed Dunichand Kalani Trust without floating any tender, and at a very low rate. The trust has also allegedly violated several norms – like illegally leasing out a part of the building to another school.
“It’s shocking since the trust has not paid any taxes for water, property etc. More importantly, the institutes are run by Kalani, but UMC constructed a floor using its own funds,” said Mahesh Sharma, media manager of Ailani.
Sources say it is because of Kalani’s reputation that while on September 20, 2006 in a general body meeting UMC cancelled the lease agreement of the trust, it has not dared to act on this. Ailani has also demanded action against those officials who failed to take the plots into UMC’s possession.
The other side
Repeated attempts by MiD DAY to reach Pappu Kalani failed, as his phone was switched off. His personal assistant Neeraj Dhirvani said, “We are not aware of any such development. We’ll get back to you after finding out more on the issue.”