Thursday, June 20, 2013

Parking Lot Scam: 23K cr windfall in parking lots allotment: PIL

Mumbai: The urban development department, led by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, has given floor space worth nearly Rs 23,500 crore at commercial market value to private builders for just Rs 240 crore as allotments for public parking lots, a PIL filed in the Bombay high court alleged on Wednesday.

Litigant Pravin Wategaonkar said the developers or land owners, who are now entitled to 50% incentive FSI in lieu of construction of basement plus three levels of car parking, stand to benefit from 92 lakh square feet of buildable space. Wategaonkar alleged that the implementation of the state’s public parking policy since 2010 is mired in malpractice and arbitrariness. In his reply to the state’s recent affidavit, Wategaonkar requested for a probe by an agency like the CBI or an audit to see if there was any graft involved and to calculate “the loss to exchequer involved in the allotments”.

He said the allotments appeared to have gone largely to two developers whose group companies allegedly bagged four and two projects, respectively. Wategaonkar pointed out that the civic body was stonewalling his attempts to see the files of the last three approvals, which he alleged went to companies that belonged to one big builder.

Three proposals were approved last month. The state said 13 other proposals were pending at various stages. The PIL said the urban development minister was “withholding” approvals and indulged in corruption as alleged in the budget session of the legislature and reported in the media, and it needs to be inquired into.
Swati Deshpande TNN

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