Former IAS officer named witness in Bhujbal case

  • Pratik Salunke, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 29, 2016 00:45 IST

Former chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad is one of the key witnesses named in the charge sheet filed by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) as the IAS officer had given a negative feedback against the Kalina Library deal in 2013. Gaikwad is the state’s chief information officer.

Sources said Gaikwad, who was then the chief secretary, has asked for the cancellation of the proposal. HT accessed some documents, which revealed that on May 10, 2013, Gaikwad had noted that if the library is constructed on build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis, the government fund of Rs82.49 crore will be saved but the land worth more than Rs157.31 crore will go to a private developer for a paltry Re1 per square metre for 99 years.

Gaikwad had also considered the remarks of the revenue and the forest department. “As per the opinion of the revenue and forest department, the private developer will use it for commercial and residential purpose. It will be right that the said library should be built by the government instead of a private developer. The proposal should be cancelled and that revenue minister should also be involved in transactions pertaining land dealings,” he had observed.

“The proposal should have been stopped there itself as the chief secretary had remarked inappropriate,” said a source.

ACB investigations had revealed that the revenue and forest department had put forth conditions for using the land. According to the conditions, the land will remain with the department concerned till the time it is used for the purpose for which it is allotted to that department.

Another clause was that the land must not be given to any private person or any other government department on rent of sale with permission from the collector. The land would be given back to the revenue department after it is not being used by the department concerned for the purpose for which it is allotted. The ACB has alleged that conditions were violated.

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