Revenue Minister Narayan Rane on Friday said the Maharashtra government had found irregularities in land transactions for the Lavasa project and would take action if a probe into the matter revealed any wrongdoing.
“Some irregularities are there,” Rane told reporters in New Delhi.
Additional chief secretary (revenue) M Rameshkumar has sent a report to Rane on the alleged irregularities. The minister said the matter would be probed further, and the probe report would be ready within a fortnight.
Lavasa, modern India’s first planned hill city, is being built on 25,000 acres of land in Pune district. The project has been dogged by controversy ever since it was launched in 2002. Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh recently asked the state for details on environmental clearances given to the project in 2002 and 2004.
Rane said a key issue in question was the handover of 141 hectares of land by the state irrigation department. He said his department would verify if the Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation (MKVDC) was empowered to lease the land to Lavasa Corporation.
The department also had to find out if permission had been taken from the government or the district collector while acquiring the land of tribals. The tribal land in question comes to 80 hectares.