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PMC accuses tourism dept of arm-twisting over 165-acre land

A slip-up ostensibly on part of the tehsildar has put Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in a tight spot. Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) is demanding 5 acres of land for removing its name from the 7/12 extract of 165 acres of land in Rajiv Gandhi National Park, which was erroneously added by the tehsildar during a contract of boating over 5 acres of area was signed in 1995. PMC cannot propose any development work on the 165 acres without the permission of MTDC and officials claimed that MTDC is taking undue advantage of the situation by demanding renewal of contract for boating at Katraj Lake, which is located on the national park’s land.


Troubled waters: MTDC wanted to develop the land near Katraj Lake (above) as a tourist destination by starting boating activity. File Pic

Two lakes fall within the 165 acres located at Katraj survey number 5, Rajiv Gandhi National Park. For promoting boating and other activities, MTDC had demanded 5 acres of land adjacent to the lake area in 1992. “MTDC wanted to develop that land as a tourist destination by starting boating activity. The central government was ready to provide funds for developing open theatre and cultural centre.


All in the same boat: MTDC boats anchored at Katraj Lake. File Pic

But to get the funds it was necessary to hand over possession of the land on temporary basis. So, PMC approved mentioning the name of MTDC on the 7/12 extract. Mistakenly, the department’s name was specified against the entire 165 acres. A few years ago we discontinued the contract of boating owing to growth of hyacinth in the lake. Now we are asking for MTDC’s name to be removed from the 7/12 extract,” said RT Shinde, in-charge of civic land and estate department.

Thanks to the goof-up, for PMC to carry out development work on any part of the 165 acres, permission from MTDC is obligatory. The recent work of installation of Shivaji statue at Katraj Lake took much longer owing to delayed NOC from the tourism department.

On the other hand, MTDC officials are claiming that they own the 5-acre plot, which should be handed over by the civic body so they can start boating, canteen facilities for tourists. Naina Bondarde, regional head of MTDC, said, “We have developed infrastructure on that land. That tract belongs to MTDC and PMC is not ready to provide possession. How can the name specified in the 7/12 be a mistake? We are ready to discuss this issue with PMC officials.”

Speaking to MiD DAY,Sandesh Shirke, Haveli Tahsildar, said, “A clerical error may have occurred during signing of the contract related to government land. But there is a simple provision in the law to rectify this. Regarding Rajiv Gandhi National Park land issue, I have to verify the documents to find out the precise situation.” The current market rate of land in Katraj area is above Rs 5,000 per sq ft.  

Did you know?
The 7/12 extract is an extract from the land register maintained by the revenue department of the government of Maharashtra. The extract gives information of the survey number of the land, the name of the owner of the land and its cultivator, the area of the land, the type of cultivation – whether irrigated or rain fed, the crops planted in the last cultivating season. It also records loans extended to the land owner given by government agencies, including the purpose – such as loans or subsidies for buying seeds, pesticides or fertilisers, for which the loan was given, the loans could be given to the owner or the cultivator. It is one of the documents that provide evidence of the ownership of the land it represents. In rural areas the ownership of a particular plot of land can be established on the basis of the 7/12 extract.  

Rs 100 cr Approx market price of the 5 acres of land

Rs 3,300 cr Approx price of the entire 165 acres

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