The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Maharashtra Legislature took the developer of a controversial ‘Maharashtra Sadan’ (guest house) in New Delhi to task for not completing the work on time and handing over the project to the state government.
A team of legislators led by committee chief Girish Bapat (Bharatiya Janata Party) inspected the largest among such buildings owned by other states in the national capital, on Wednesday.
The team found many basic services such as air-conditioning and information technology not working even after the sadan was inaugurated on June 5 this year.
Ever since the construction was started back in 2006, the project has faced several hurdles over allegations of corruption. PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal was accused of escalating the cost of construction by Rs10crore and also allotting work to his kin.
The PAC chairman had raised the issue in the Legislative Assembly. The structure was originally estimated at Rs52crore. Mumbai firm Chamankar Developers built the guest house for free in exchange for rights to develop a government plot in Andheri.
Bhujbal has dismissed The new Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities such as an auditorium, video conferencing, press conference room, meeting halls, dining area, cultural centre, museum, library and rooms for elected representatives and state guests
The architecture of the building is based on Maharashtra’s history and culture. the charges saying the government did not spend any money on the project.
A PAC member told HT that the developer was asked to get the basic services functioning “We told them that we will take up the issue in the Monsoon Session of the Legislature in case he failed this time.”
Developer’s representative Prasanna Chamankar told HT “During the inauguration, some facilities were still being tested We had told them we will need another two-three months to complete the job.”
Bhujbal was unavailable for comment.
PWD secretary Shyama Mukherjee said his department would follow direction issued by the PAC.