Friday, June 21, 2013

Parking Lot Scam: Find out who allowed parking under flyovers: HC to chief secy

Officials of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), who ignored the chief minister’s direction and awarded contracts for pay-and-park facility under flyovers in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai, have come under the scanner.

The Bombay high court on Thursday directed the chief secretary to appoint a senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer to conduct a probe into the matter and pinpoint the errant MSRDC officials.

A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice AR Joshi directed the state to take appropriate action against the officials. It also directed the MSRDC to file a compliance report before the court in December.

The open space under all the flyovers should be vacated by June 29, the court said.
The directions were given during the hearing of a bunch of petitions filed by contractors who were allotted to beautify the open space below the flyovers and use the area for pay-and-park and advertisements.

Additional public prosecutor Moldeina Thakhur said: “The chief minister had in July 2008, months before the 26/11 terror attack, given directions in view of the security threat.” However, MSRDC officials in 2009 had advertised the offer to beautify the open space below the flyovers.

In 2013, the MSRDC decided to foreclose the contract after an earlier high court order stopped the pay-and-park facility.

The court, while refusing to the grant any relief to the contractors, told them to approach a civil court for any relief or compensation.

PIL: Let CBI probe parking lot allotment scamA public interest litigation placed before the Bombay high court has sought a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged corruption in allotment of public parking lots by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and urban development minister Bhaskar Jadhav.

The PIL alleges that the chief minister and the UDD minister have been charging exorbitant amounts for sanctioning proposals for allotment of public parking lots.

A division bench of justices Mohit Shah and MS Sanklecha, however, asked social activist Pravin Wategaonkar, who filed the PIL, to amend his petition, which will be considered by the high court in four weeks.

In the PIL, Wategaonkar has raised the issue of allotting the lots to certain developers when others who had submitted proposals earlier were kept waiting. Advocate general Darius Khambata informed the court that the proposals were thoroughly scrutinised and then allotted. “It is not done on a first-cum-first-serve basis. Queries were raised in 13 proposals and hence were sent back to BMC. Seven others are under consideration,” said Khambata.
dna correspondent @dna
Published Date:  Jun 21, 2013

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