Stung by accusations hurled by the Opposition for changing norms to favour private builders, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan defended himself on Monday by saying all rules were followed while taking the decisions, and expressed willingness to review them if irregularities are found.
Chavan said the urban development department’s (UDD) decision to change the reservation of 33 plots and to hike the floor space index (FSI) in special townships was in view of the rapid urbanisation taking place in the state.
“Any decision is bound to favour someone. They have been taken for the benefit of society and not for any individual,” said Chavan. “If you have proof [of irregularity], give it to me I am even ready to revise my decision,” he added.
“It is time for the Opposition to think beyond square feet, and for the society,” he added. “The changes have been limited during my tenure, unlike in the past when it was done in hundreds,” he added.
On Friday, BJP legislator Ashish Shelar had alleged that reservation of 664.70 acres of land was changed due to monetary considerations.
He added that in the Special Township Scheme, the FSI for residential complexes has been hiked to between 1.5 and 1.7 from 1, and in case of no-development zones, to 0.8-1.0 from .02.
Chavan got back at Shelar on Monday saying that even Gujarat, which is touted as a model state by the BJP, has higher FSI of 1.5 for special townships.
On Shelar’s allegation that he was delaying permissions to proposals under the public parking scheme, Chavan said he was responsible for the revision of this scheme, which is now a money spinner for the civic body.
He also said the scheme introduced by his party’s former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh was flawed. “In the previous scheme, the builders were just constructing private lots to gain incentives and we were getting a raw deal. However, now, we have restricted the height and also hiked the premium,” said Chavan.
He said that civic body has gained Rs.1,000 crore as premium from the scheme.
In the assembly, accusing Chavan of ignoring major issues such as drought, discrimination in development fund allocation and corruption, the Opposition members staged a walk out.