In what could spell further trouble for Shiv Sena leader and minister of state for housing Ravindra Waikar, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday said he has sought report from the housing department officials on several allegations made against Waikar by Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam.
The allegations include construction of additional floor in gymnasium in Aarey Colony, encroaching upon 20 acres behind the gymnasium, misusing ministerial powers to secure contracts for slum redevelopment projects, in which he allegedly has stakes.
The development came after Nirupam-led Congress delegation met Fadnavis to apprise him of the proactive role Waikar played in the irregularities.
“I have given orders to the housing secretary and Mhada vice-president to present a factual report on the allegations. The course of action will be decided on the basis of the report,” Fadnavis said.
Nirupam said Fadnavis assured him of action into the matter. “We apprised him of the irregularities in the gymnasium construction, slum redevelopment projects, and unaccounted money generated through them. He said he will take action after verifying the documents from the government agencies,” said Nirupam, who sent a letter to Fadnavis last week.
Nirupam said he asked Fadnavis to order demolition of the illegal floor in the gymnasium, stay the ongoing slum redevelopment projects and demolition the building, which is built within m of the Jogeshwari caves, a heritage site. The Lokayukta has sent notices to Waikar and Mhada on the gymnasium. He will hold inquiry to decide if an investigation should be initiated into the matter.
Waikar has maintained all allegations made by Nirupam are false and factually incorrect. He has dared them to hold any kind of inquiry. At the same time, he has agreed to rectify the irregularities in the gymnasium, which includes the demolition of the first floor.
So far, no senior leader from the Sena has come out in Waikar’s support. Nirupam said Waikar has replicated the Aarey Colony gymnasium model at other several locations, where he used the illegal floors for commercial reasons.
Fadnavis said he was amused at Waikar’s comment that says the Fadnavis-headed Urban Development Department approved these redevelopment projects, said Nirupam.