Mumbai: BMC probe nails MHADA in illegal Goregaon plot sale
Investigation ordered following mid-day's expose mentions housing body erroneously leased civic body's prime plot on SV Road to developer
The BMC's probe report into MHADA giving away a prime 5,564-sq-ft civic plot at Goregaon to a private society has revealed that MHADA did the transaction erroneously. Civic chief Ajoy Mehta had called for a probe into the 'goof-up' following mid-day's front-page report on November 5 about how the land was leased to the developer without BMC getting a single rupee for it. The probe report was submitted on November 30.
The plot of contention is on SV Road. In 2003, MHADA entered into an agreement with Sai Kripa co-operative housing society for the construction of a residential tower on CTS plot number 339 (19,654 sq ft) and 340 (5,564 sq ft). Now, a large commercial complex and residential building stands there. The complex has been developed by Asmi Developers. MHADA somehow gave the builder the land allegedly without taking the approval of, or paying compensation to BMC. After mid-day's report, Mehta ordered a probe.
On November 30, the probe report was submitted to Mehta's office. The administration, in its report, has clearly mentioned that the housing authority executed the lease deed with the society for land bearing CTS numbers 339 and 340, despite only plot 339 belonging to MHADA.
The report (mid-day has a copy) mentioned, "It appears that MHADA has erroneously granted NOC and handed over the plot to society admeasuring about 40 sqm from the CTS 340 which belongs to the BMC. Rest of the area has been merged in the existing road." With this report, BMC has put the ball in MHADA and the developer's court to undo the error.
"MHADA is the planning authority. Hence, the housing authority will be informed to rectify the plans as well as the lease deed executed with the society based on the actual demarcation of CTS no. 339 and 340," the report cited further. Also, the owner (in this case the developer) will be asked to demarcate the actual CTS boundary on the site, and if the strip of land out of CTS falls within the compound of the building, then the developer will be insisted to hand over back the said portion of land to BMC by shifting the boundary wall in front of the open space.
BMC and MHADA officials did not respond to calls asking for comment. However, speaking to mid-day earlier, Milind Mhaiskar, chief executive officer of MHADA had stated the case is nearly 15 years old and they too will be conducting thorough probe in this issue.
'Error is unintentional'
Meanwhile, speaking to mid-day, Ajay Dedhia of Asmi Developers claimed there was no violation of any construction norms or any sort of land grab case. "MHADA is the owner of the land and I am only a lessee. I have constructed only on the land leased by MHADA. BMC has sanctioned the plans; I have all proper records. The error has occurred due to some misunderstanding. It is unintentional," Dedhia added.
He said, "I've not received any instructions or orders from the authorities. But, if the authorities instruct me to make changes, I am certainly willing to make the necessary modifications and alterations."
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