Public works minister Chhagan Bhujbal sought to distance himself from the Maharashtra Sadan project controversy saying the terms of the deal were approved twice by a cabinet sub-committee on infrastructure in 2006 led by the then chief minister. Vilasrao Deshmukh was the chief minister at the time.
“As a public works minister, I cannot grant FSI. It is given by urban development department and slum rehabilitation authority (SRA). The decision to get three government buildings renovated in exchange of granting incentive FSI went before the cabinet sub-committee of infrastructure twice,'' Bhujbal told the state assembly on Tuesday.
Bhujbal said there was no undue advantage granted to the developer KS Chamankar. The developer got FSI for commercial sale of around 2,36,780 sq feet, he said. In return, the developer was asked to complete works to the tune of Rs100 crore at three government buildings including Maharashtra Sadan, High Mount Guest House and Regional Transport Office at Andheri.
He said that though a company associated with his family got a contract for furniture, it had nothing to do with the government. “The contractor hired several sub-contractors; the government has nothing to do with this. The furniture contracts are too meager to insinuate kickbacks,” he added. He also refuted allegations that Parvesh Constructions, one of the companies owned by his kin, received kickbacks from DB Realty for redevelopment of a Bandra colony. He said a flat was booked by DB Realty in 2006 with Parvesh Construction, but the entire money returned in 2008. The Bandra colony redevelopment decision was taken in 2010, Bhujbal said.
“To unnecessarily link these incidents and create a controversy is unfair. If you have proof, you should file a complaint with ACB,'' he said.