Civic authorities in Pune have stated in an order that around 175 hectares acquired by Lavasa Corporation can be “regularised”, with payment of a fine of Rs. 25 crore. The land in question, according to activists, is ceiling land, which they say cannot be sold for private purposes.
Sanjay Patil, sub-divisional officer (SDO), Maval, passed the order on Thursday stating that Lavasa Corporation would have to pay an additional Rs. 25 crore to regularise the land, which was originally given to the landless under the Maharashtra Agricultural Land (Ceiling on Holding) Act, 1961.
While activists of the National Alliance of People’s Movements have stated that the land should go back to the landless according to the Act, Lavasa Corporation too has opposed the order calling it “unjust”.
The promoters of the multi-crore project stated that the Government Order to levy the fine, “especially during a grim economic period is not a positive move”.
“The transfer of land has been regularised after careful scrutiny of documents,” Mr. Patil said.
Mr. Patil agreed that some of the land acquired by Lavasa was ceiling land that was sold without the permission of its owners, and would be given back. The process to that effect had been initiated.
Mr. Patil refused to comment on what would be the further course of action.