Dismissing the corruption charges in the city’s slum rehabilitation schemes, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Tuesday said all ‘controversial’ proposals were approved as per rules.
Opposition leader Eknath Khadse had raised the allegations in the State Legislative Assembly on Monday, estimating the scam worth more than Rs 50,000 crore.
On the last day of the monsoon session of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Chavan denied favouritism in all four SRA projects undertaken by Ackriti Developers.
To prove his point that the SRA developers were not close to anyone in the government, CM said that Ackriti Developer and its several counterparts in the city had published advertisements wishing Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray on his birthday in the party mouthpiece, Saamna, on Tuesday.
“Ackriti was given 10 SRA projects in the Sena-BJP rule as well,” he said.
CM’s statement evoked a strong reaction from the Sena and BJP legislators. But equally strong rejoinder by treasury benches and Speaker’s timely intervention settled the issue.
Chavan said: “We followed the rules that were formulated by the Sena-BJP government. Alleging corruption in every other SRA or development project will impact city’s development because investors would hesitate from investing in such proposals in future.”
Chavan also denied irregularities in the Marol-Maroshi’s Royal Palm estate development. “The developer did not flout any norms.” The chief minister assured that the reservations on encroached land (for SRA projects) would remain intact. “We also ensure that SRA developers pay the government 25 per cent premium.”
However, Chavan did not have an answer when Khadse wanted to know why a blacklisted developer, Kiran Hemani of Ruchi Priya Developers, was given SRA projects.
CM said to know exact numbers of encroachments and illegal hutments, the state government will conduct a survey of huts every two years. “We also plan to do satellite mapping of vacant land.”
A special cell in the Housing Department at Mantralaya will monitor the survey findings.
Chavan said he was mulling to conduct third-party audits in constructions of SRA developers and MHADA and enforce preventive measures against encroachments.