Mumbai

Make public probe into land deals: Chavan

Prithviraj Chavan

Prithviraj Chavan   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

Allegations of purchases along Samruddhi Corridor before land acquisition notification

During the budget session on Tuesday, senior Congress leader and former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan demanded that the government make public the Lokayukta’s report on its probe into land deals made before the notification for land acquisition was issued for the Nagpur-Mumbai Samruddhi Corridor project.

Raising the query during the question hour, Mr. Chavan said former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced in the Assembly that an inquiry would be launched into allegations of bureaucrats and politicians purchasing land parcels along the highway’s alignment before the notification was issued and later selling them to earn profit.

Mr. Chavan said, “Land was systematically purchased before the notification was issued by people who knew about the project and the alignment of the road. The land became extremely costly and was sold for huge profits. The ex-CM had announced an inquiry would be conducted. The report on it should be tabled.”

In his reply, Eknath Shinde, Minister in charge of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation, which is executing the project, said the Lokayukta found the allegations baseless. “The additional chief secretary of the Home Department was informed about it through a letter dated March 9, 2018,” he said.

Mr. Chavan, however, sought the details of the inquiry. “We would like to know which land transactions were probed. Whether before the notification was issued or after. Probing land deals after the notification was issued holds no importance. The government must table the report,” he said.

Mr. Shinde could not answer the query owing to sloganeering by Bharatiya Janata Party members. Speaker Nana Patole then adjourned the House, putting an end to the question hour.

Later, addressing reporters, Mr. Chavan said, “Fadnavis had announced this inquiry. If there have been land dealings then it should be made public.”

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 3:15:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/make-public-probe-into-land-deals-chavan/article30917643.ece

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