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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

‘Chavan-led dept changed norms to assist builders’

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Mumbai, March 16, 2013
First Published: 02:10 IST(16/3/2013) | Last Updated: 02:12 IST(16/3/2013)

The Opposition on Friday alleged that the urban development department headed by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan changed the reservation in 33 plots across the state and hiked the FSI in special townships to benefit specific builders. 

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Raising the issue in the legislative council, BJP legislator Ashish Shelar asked whether the decisions were taken due to monetary considerations. He also alleged that the proposals of 11 developers seeking permission for more FSI in exchange for building public parking spaces were pending since four months and a person was demanding money from the developers to get them cleared. The same person had collected money from those who benefitted from the urban development department’s decision to change reservation status of plots.

“The state can easily rake in Rs. 150 crore [by allowing the public parking spaces], but there is a deliberate delay by some vested interests,” he said.

Shelar said land reservation was changed in 33 places. “More than 664.70 acre of land was de-reserved by the state government in the last year, and it was done to benefit the builder lobby,” said Shelar. Most of the instances are about changing of agriculture or non-development zone (NDZ) land to residential or industrial. The change facilitated construction activity, which is otherwise prohibited in these areas. A majority of these lands are located at Pune and the rest are spread across Jalgaon, Nagpur and Aurangabad.

“Another decision was to hike the FSI for special township projects. Here, the FSI for residential complexes has been hiked to 1.5 to 1.7 from 1 FSI, and in the case of NDZ, the permitted rise has been increased to 0.8-1.0 from 0.2,” said Shelar.

Both Chavan as well as UDD secretary Manu Kumar Srivastava remained unavailable for comment despite several attempts.


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