Rs 826-cr BKC plot is now a dumping ground
Trucks dump construction debris in the dead of night on 6,000 sq m of land that was taken back from Jet Airways last year.
Land is oppressively limited in this town, but evidently not to toss rubbish. One look at a prime BKC plot owned by the MMRDA will confirm this.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s 5,951 sq m plot at G Block in the business district of Bandra Kurla Complex -- which is worth Rs 826 crore -- is being used to dump construction debris.
This is the same chunk of land that Jet Airways had won in a land auction three years ago. But it was taken back from the airline operator last October after it failed to pay for it in full.
On Wednesday, when a MiD DAY team visited the plot C-18 in BKC, we saw that at least at two spots on this premium realty in the heart of the city, heaps of construction material had begun their skyward ascent.
A watchman from a nearby building who did not wish to be named told us that rubble was regularly being unloaded on the ground at night.
“A few days back I saw a truck come in the night and dump debris on this plot. This has been happening for the last two-three months at regular intervals,” he said.
Last year, when MiD DAY had visited the location, the plot was clear, devoid of any discarded construction material. The dumping started just a few weeks ago. If authorities do not act to reverse this trend, heaps of trash will soon be piling up here from many sources.
On our visit, we took some photographic proof of the waste strewn across the plot. But when we raised the issue with MMRDA joint project director Dilip Kawatkar, he claimed blissful ignorance. “We are not aware of any such dumping of construction material on the plot, but if it is taking place we will make sure that it is stopped. The debris will be removed. We will also take action against those responsible for it,” Kawatkar said.
Not Jet set
Last October, MiD DAY had reported how Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan approved the cancellation of the 2008 allotment of the costly plot to Jet Airways for failing to honour payment commitments. The decision was taken on October 22 in a meeting with MMRDA authorities at Sahyadri Guest House.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, then MMRDA commissioner Rahul Asthana had said that Jet would have to forfeit the Rs 10 crore it had already paid for the land.
“As Jet has failed to make the remaining payment for the Rs 826 crore plot even after the grant of several extensions, the authority has decided to cancel the allotment,” Asthana had said. “Jet will have to forfeit the Rs 10 crore which it paid as earnest money after winning the plot.”
Jet Airways had won the 5,951 square metres plot at G Block in BKC during a land auction in 2008. The airline planned to construct its global headquarters here when it bid for it in 2008. The plots C-18 at G-Block are considered a prime location in BKC. There are business houses like IDBI Bank and National Stock Exchange near the plot.
Rs 10 crore
Earnest money Jet Airways paid to MMRDA after it won the plot in auction; it had to forfeit this amount after failing to make further payments
Rs 826 cr
Estimated cost of the prime realty