An irked chief minister Prithviraj Chavan is keen on cracking the whip on officials, who cleared two slum rehabilitation projects under the controversial 3k clause of the SRA Act, on the day he took over the as the chief minister of the state.
The clearances granted without Chavan’s knowledge, have caused him huge embarrassment, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya alleging that these clearances were given speedily in one day and Chavan was in the know of the situation.
The projects involve large scale slum cluster redevelopment over 51.34 hectares in Malvani, Malad and 27.22 hectares in Chembur that would give realty firms a windfall of 139 lakh square feet of saleable area in these prime properties. The realty firms can rerap profits worth Rs7,500 crore in this deal.
The chief minister, who scrutinised the files later, found out that though his predecessor Ashok Chavan had cleared these two projects in October, the files had not moved until November 11. “On the day, Chavan took over, the files moved with an amazing speed. The letters were issued to the SRA from the government and on the same day, Letter of Intent was issued to the project developers. Obviously, he wants to crack a whip on such procedures in Mantralaya and inquire into the role of the officials, who cleared the project,’’ said a source close to Chavan.
On November 11 last year, Ashok Chavan was the caretaker CM until afternoon and Prithviraj Chavan took oath in the evening as the CM.
The letters, procured under the Right to Information Act by Somaiya, states that the government had cleared the projects under 3k on October 5 and October 8, 2010, and as such Chief Executive officer of SRA can now issue notification with regards to requisite clearances like Letter of Intent, commencement certificate, check 70% consent etc.
Chavan has now called for legal interpretation on whether these clearances are illegal.