More trouble for Hema Malini; now she's accused of destroying mangroves
Former Bollywood actress and BJP Lok Sabha member Hema Malini, currently under fire over a land allotment, has now been accused of destroying mangroves on a plot allotted to her in the 1990s
Mumbai: In what could spell more trouble for BJP MP Hema Malini who is caught in a land allotment controversy, a fresh RTI query revealed that the actress allegedly violated the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Act by destroying mangroves on a plot previously given to her at Versova, for which a notice was served to her in 1998.
The actress, however, contended that an unnecessary row was being kicked up over the matter as she had already said that she would return the land at Versova once she takes possession of the land recently alloted to her.
The actress-turned-politician is already facing heat from the opposition for securing a prime piece of land admeasuring 2000 sq metres for her dance academy in Oshiwara at Andheri for a throwaway price of Rs 70,000.
As per the information furnished by Mumbai Suburban Collector in response to the query filed by RTI activist Anil Galgali, Malini was allotted a plot in Versova village (of Andheri taluka), bearing survey no 161, dmeasuring 1741.89 sq.metres, whose possession was handed over to her on April 4, 1997.
Subsequently, a notice was served to her by the Mumbai Suburban Collector on August 28, 1998, copy of which has been obtained by Galgali.
The notice was addressed to Malini, as a trustee of Natyavihar Kala Kendra Charity Trust, asking her as to why "this office" (of the suburban collector) should not tell the state government to cancel the letter of intent for the allotment as norms of the CRZ Act were violated.
According to the reply, the dance academy had made a payment of Rs 10 lakh for acquiring the plot.
The notice also mentioned that the project report signed by an architect showed the availability of 25 per cent funds for the project, but sought to know what plans the Trust had to raise the balance 75 per cent of the cost.
Citing the report submitted by the Andheri Tehsildar, the Collector also said that CRZ rules were violated by destroying the mangroves.
"The notice which demanded an explanation within 10 days, was neither responded by the Trust, nor any action was taken on it by the Collector's office," Galgali alleged.
Rejecting the allegation, Malini told PTI, "All the hullabaloo is being created unnecessarily, as I never had an intention to get two pieces of land. I had already decided to return the land previously allotted and I'm going to do it as and when I get the possession of recently allotted land."