Probe ordered into pvt housing ad with Maharashtra Minister's pic

Pune: Maharashtra Minister Girish Bapat today sought to distance himself from the recently launched controversial low-cost housing scheme, advertised by a city-based builder as a government project with the former's
endorsement and ordered a Collector-level inquiry into it.

The photograph of Bapat, the Guardian Minister of Pune, appeared in the prominently-displayed advertisements circulated by the firm Maple, which called upon people to register their names for ownership of homes by May 1, the Maharashtra Day, promising one bedroom flats for Rs 5 lakh on the outskirts of Pune.

Speaking to PTI here today, Bapat said he had written to the firm as to how his photograph and name was used in the project advertisement without his consent.

"Pune District Collector has been directed to conduct an inquiry into the episode and the report would be submitted to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, whose photograph has also appeared in the misrepresented advertisement," he said.

The minister also clarified that the project had no approval from Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), the nodal agency sanctioning government housing projects.

"I have asked concerned authorities to ensure that money paid by common people for the scheme should be returned to them," Bapat said.

The firm advertised the project as 'Maharashtra Housing Day', giving the impression that it was part of the Pradhan Mantri Aavas Yojana, implemented through the state government agencies.

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