Tuesday, April 23, 2013

MIDC Scam: Cheaper land for Ajit Pawar’s aide cost MIDC R2.99 cr: CAG

MUMBAI: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has rapped the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) for the enormous loss it suffered because of the allotment of plots at lower rates.

One of the plots allotted to Vilas Lande, a close confidant of deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, has cost the corporation of Rs2.99 crore. While Lande is an independent MLA from Pune, his wife is the mayor of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation.

Lande, who fought the 2009 Lok Sabha elections as an NCP candidate, had applied for the land for industrial development in Chakan Industrial Area in May 2007. Taking note of the then industries minister’s demand in June 2007, the corporation had issued an offer letter to Lande in June 2008, despite the absence of a vacant plot. Lande was asked to pay the earnest money at the rate of Rs1,200 for a sqm for a 20,000 sqm plot. The MIDC could not issue an allotment order owing to non-availability of land.

In February 2010, the MIDC issued an order for the plot in the newly-established CIA- II at the then prevailing rate of Rs2,500 for a sqm. Lande, along with two other allottees (Pradeep Sinnarkar and Deepak Darak), was asked to pay the additional 15 per cent charges for road width. Lande approached industries minister Narayan Rane in March 2011 and asked for the application of the older rate. Rane, who was the chairman of the MIDC, gave in to the request.

The CAG has slammed the corporation for non-transparency that led to a loss of Rs2.99 crore. It has questioned why the MIDC did not cancel the deal despite such a provision in the allotment letter.

Lande said, “I don’t remember the exact details of the transaction.”

THE COMPTROLLER AND Auditor General (CAG) has slammed the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) for non-transparency in allotment of land

A 4,163 SQM PLOT IN trans-Thane Creek was allotted at the rate of Rs8 for a sqm to United Engineers in 1972, on the condition that the work on the factory would begin in two months THE ALLOTTEE, HOWEVER, DID not take up the construction for three decades. The plot was neither restored nor was any legal action taken against the allottee till 2009

THE LEGAL HEIR OF the company requested the MIDC to give it an alternative plot as the original was encroached upon by slumdwellers

THE MIDC AGREED to it, instead of disposing of the plot at the then prevailing market rate of Rs13,800 for a sq m

THE ALLOTTEE LATER transferred the plot to a third party

THE CAG HAS stated that the entire transaction caused the MIDC a loss of Rs5.74 crore
20 Apr 2013
Hindustan Times (Mumbai)
Surendra P Gangan surendra.gangan@hindustantimes.com

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