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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Satara Congress leader named in controversial Mhada revamp project

Ketaki Ghoge , Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 18, 2013
First Published: 01:35 IST(18/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:38 IST(18/4/2013)

The name of a Congress leader from Satara has cropped up in a controversial multi-crore redevelopment project of a Mhada colony in Kandivli.

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The revamp of the 57-acre colony, at Samata Nagar, comprising 165 buildings, has been pending for 15 years now.

The leader, Anandrao Patil, Satara Congess party president, had written to CM Prithviraj Chavan, seeking his intervention in the project — halted owing to opposition from residents, said MNS legislator Pravin Darekar in the state assembly on Monday.

Darekar alleged a collusion of Mhada officials and developers in the project and questioned Patil’s involvement in the project.  “Patil is the Satara district president of Congress and vice-chairman of Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation (MKVDC). What is his connection with this project? Why should he interfere?” asked Darekar.

The legislator demanded a CBI probe into the project and alleged that the 70% consent of residents, as mandated under the redevelopment rules, had not been obtained. He also pointed out the involvement of former deputy collector of Mhada, Nitish Thakur, who is in the anti-corruption bureau’s net for disproportionate assets, in the project.

Patil is considered to be close to Chavan. Darekar said Chavan had remarked to the letter saying ‘please examine,’ which Mhada officials deliberately misinterpreted as a go-ahead, and evicted 600 tenants.

Patil had sent the letter  to the CM on March 27, 2012, stating the project had obtained an NOC from Mhada but was stuck owing to refusal of tenants to shift to transit camps. “The issue is in the interests of public at large and as such action should be tak-en against them under section 15 of Mhada act,” the letter stated. 

Denying his involvement in the project, Patil told HT: “I may have been approached by some delegation or a Congress worker with this issue and hence sent a letter.  I have no vested interest in this project and I have not followed it up with any authorities.”

Sachin Ahir, minister of state for housing, said: “Mhada handed over this project to the redeveloper after the federation of societies in Samata Nagar approached us and submitted requisite documents including a consent letter…We will re-examine the issue if there are complaints of intimidation, but redevelopment need not be halted.”


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