Maharashtra government brings former APMC directors to book

Updated: Dec 07, 2016, 09:55 IST | Dharmendra Jore |

Marketing minister issues orders to file FIR for flouting norms in granting extra FSI to shop owners in APMC complexes

Sources close to the marketing minister said around 350 shop owners in APMC were given extra FSI in 2013.  Representation pic
Sources close to the marketing minister said around 350 shop owners in APMC were given extra FSI in 2013. Representation pic

The state government has issued a directive to file FIRs against former directors of the Navi Mumbai Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) for flouting norms in granting extra Floor Space Index (FSI) to shop owners in APMC complexes. The state has also asked APMC officials to recover a penalty of Rs 62 crore from shop owners who benefited from the alleged largesse.

Marketing minister Subhash Deshmukh has issued these orders. Deshmukh confirmed the development, but refused to elaborate further as the winter session of the state legislature is on. The APMC directors who will be booked in the FSI scam belong to NCP and Congress parties.

APMC admin gets order
A senior officer in Deshmukh’s office told mid-day that the APMC administrator received the orders three days ago and the process for filing FIRs and recovering dues would start soon. The ex-directors will be charged with a criminal conspiracy, irregularity and causing losses to the state and APMC coffers.

However, sources close to him said the inquiry conducted by the marketing department has revealed serious discrepancies in FSI allocation in 2013. “Some 350 shop owners were given extra FSI. The rate charged to them back then was Rs 600 per sq ft, against the ready reckoner rate of Rs 4,000 per sq ft and market rate of Rs 10,000 per sq ft,” said a source, adding that this irregularity was brought to the government’s notice by some complainants and the Bombay high court’s directive for conducting a probe.

History of probe
After the BJP government came to power, it appointed Manoj Saunik as administrator at Navi Mumbai APMC. Saunik probed the irregularity and submitted his report nailing the culprits in January this year. The minister issued the first order for filing a criminal case in July, but the matter remained pending for want of clarity in the APMC Act. But when the Law and Judiciary Department established that the government, being a probing agency, could file FIRs in the case under a relevant act, the minister issued yet another directive last month.

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