The state government is contemplating a departmental inquiry against former City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) managing director GS Gill over his controversial land allotment decisions.
Last year, the Opposition had alleged that CIDCO land was given to developers at throwaway prices and that the land use had been changed. The Opposition had alleged that the exchequer had suffered a loss of Rs 50,000 crore because of this.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan informed the Assembly in a written reply to a calling attention motion of the possible inquiry. Gill’s pension and other dues were stopped earlier; inquiries have been started against 10 other officials.
The government is also thinking of amending laws that enable stricter action against officers for irregularities and bars them from joining the private sector for a certain period after their administrative stint. Currently, the only option before the government is to start a departmental inquiry against such officers and stop their dues pending its outcome.
Opposition legislators had sought details on the two inquiry committees set up by former chief minister Ashok Chavan examining the land deals.
Chavan said the inquiry led by urban development secretary TC Benjamin reviewed 113 land deals cleared by Gill and found irregularities in 13 of them.
The one-man committee of finance secretary Sunil Soni, probing the decisions of the CIDCO board, of which Benjamin is a member, reviewed 23 decisions and found irregularities in eight. Soni’s report said the board cleared arbitrary land allotments in Navi Mumbai and Aurangabad but indicted only Gill.
Minister of State for Urban Development Bhaskar Jadhav said during the discussion that the government was reviewing these decisions and cancelling the contracts. Most of the irregularities pertain to change in land use and changing terms of accepted tenders.
Jadhav admitted that stopping pension was too small a punishment for the loss suffered by the exchequer. “Most of these bureaucrats don’t care about the pension. We need to tighten the screws,” he said.