Wadala Truck Terminus row: BGTA yet to respond to MMRDA's notice

Updated: Aug 10, 2018, 15:44 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA)'s notice seeks an explanation from Bombay Goods Transport Association (BGTA) to a whistle-blower's allegation of irregularities in the allotment of plots

Wadala Truck Terminus row: BGTA yet to respond to MMRDA's notice
The allegation revolves around Wadala Truck Terminus, where galas were illegally sold or rented out to non-BGTA members. File Pic

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) had given the Bombay Goods Transport Association (BGTA) a month to reply to its July 3 notice, sent in connection with the allegation of irregularities in the allotment of plots, which it had given to the Association. But despite the metropolitan commissioner's strongly-worded letter, there has been no response from the Association.

The notice, a copy of which is with mid-day, states, "It is revealed that you have not complied with the allotment condition and thus violated the terms and conditions of the allotment."

When the whistle blew
The MMRDA had allotted plots to BGTA at Wadala, but later, a whistle-blower alleged that some BGTA members had sold or rented them out to non-members, causing a loss to the government, as the stamp duty had not been paid.

The complainant in the case, Banarsidas Goel, is a BGTA member and a proprietor of Goel Transport Company. "There have been a lot of irregularities... several BGTA members have committed fraud by allotting their tenements at Wadala Truck Terminus to non-members. I have been following up on this case for many years to get justice. I am relieved that the newly appointed MMRDA commissioner is looking into the issue and even sent a notice to BGTA," he alleged.

Violation of terms
From time to time, MMRDA has been receiving complaints mentioning gross violation in the allotment procedure. An inquiry was also conducted under Shridhar Dube Patil, additional collector and inquiry officer, whose report submitted to the metropolitan commissioner states various irregularities were committed by BGTA members during allotment of galas in built-up premises, transfer of galas, use of galas and completion time, besides violation of the cooperative act provision.

The Authority's notice also states, "As per the principle of natural justice, in case the eligible member is not interested in his share of built-up premises/stake in the allotted plot by MMRDA, then the offer needs to be given to the next eligible member and so on. In no case can one member grab multiple galas/stakes in the built-up premises, depriving the rights of prospective eligible members."

It has also been stated that during MMRDA's survey of member societies, unauthorised use of galas and construction of mezzanine floors in the galas among other violations were noticed. It was also found that the galas had been illegally rented/transferred and not used for the designated purpose.

The other side
BGTA president Vijay Rawal said, "We received the notice and met senior MMRDA officials a week ago. They have given us a month more to reply."

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