Social activist Pravin Wategaonkar, who filed a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging corruption in allotment of public parking lots by the chief minister’s and the Urban Development Department minister’s offices, has now questioned the government’s inaction on parking lot proposals even after it earned Rs 200 crore in revenue by clearing allotments of five parking lots.
Based on information received through RTI, Wategaokar filed an affidavit on Monday asking why the government was sitting on 16 other proposals, especially at a time when the drought-affected state was in need of funds.
A reply from the Urban Development Department states that the information regarding parking projects before June 21, 2012 could not be given as the paperwork was destroyed in the Mantralaya fire in June last year.
In his RTI query, the activist sought information on parking lot allotments from November 1, 2010, to January 30, 2013. According to the information he received, of the 21 proposals submitted to the UDD’s and CM’s office, only five were sanctioned. Of these, the government cleared three proposals on June 20, 2012, a day before a fire gutted Mantralaya, and another proposal was sanctioned two weeks after the fire.
“If the UDD said all records were burnt in the Mantralaya fire, how did one file survive the fire? Or was it reconstructed within a fortnight of the fire, and approved?” the affidavit states.
The affidavit also questions why there was no urgency with the pending proposals. The case is likely to come up for hearing on May 2.