The Opposition took on the state government in the Legislature on Saturday during the discussion on Governor K. Sankaranarayanan’s speech in both the Houses. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena legislators hit out at the government for largesse to developers, the state’s financial crisis and half-baked government schemes.
In the Legislative Council, BJP’s Vinod Tawde alleged that the state had lost Rs 180 crore in a single project of Shivshahi Punarvasan Prakalpa Limited at Dindoshi. The contractor had left the work of constructing eight buildings and 873 flats incomplete. It was given to a private developer at Rs 1,791 a square foot. “If MHADA would have taken up the project built it and sold it according to the Ready Reckoner rate of Rs 4,700 per square foot, the state would have benefited by at least Rs 180 crore,” he said.
In the Assembly, Sena leader Subhash Desai alleged corruption in the Lavasa city project, near Pune, claiming that over 145 hectares of land had been doled out for a nominal price of Rs 3 lakh.
“The government is in a dire financial situation, but it still chose to sell this land for nothing,” said Desai. “Many social organisations have complained about this deal and about Lavasa flouting all norms but no action has been taken.’’
He also alleged that the state had recently handed over 102 hectares of land in Pune to a private developer, Jayant Shah. Desai alleged political complicity in both cases, but did not mention names.
The Sena also criticised the state government for letting go of revenue of Rs 500 crore by not taxing Indian Premier League matches. “The central government has said that cricket is not just sports but business and BCCI is a commercial entity, so why should the state give it such concessions?’’ Desai asked. Many legislators, including BJP’s Nana Patole, demanded that the state present a white paper on its debt, which they claimed had gone beyond Rs 2 lakh crore.
Tawde also raised the issue of the dumping of illegal debris at Badhwar Park, Colaba.
“Guardian Minister, Jayant Patil, had promised to get police patrols at 52 locations. In reality, it exists only at 18 locations and this makes the coasts more vulnerable from the security point of view,” Tawde said. “The state ought to take action against miscreants.”