The Comptroller and Auditor General has found blatant misuse of land allotments made in the state over the last two decades by politicians and bureaucrats. At least five senior ministers have cornered prime plots for their own trusts and housing societies.
On Wednesday, a storm of allegations broke out in the state assembly after the CAG report, which is yet to be officially tabled, was leaked to the media.The CAG is believed to have named former CM Vilasrao Deshmukh, cabinet ministers Narayan Rane, Chhagan Bhujbal, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and Patangrao Kadam for alleged irregularities.
In the legislative council, Shiv Sena legislator Ramdas Kadam said the trust controlled by Deshmukh has been indicted for getting prime land in Borivili at a concessional rate for setting up a dental college.
"The trust was favoured above three other applicants,” Kadam said. “After six years, no construction has been made on this plot and it should have been taken back by the government."
Mumbai Education Trust related to Bhujbal got land at concessional rate in Nasik to set up an engineering college, Kadam said. The application for the allotment was made by NCP MP Sameer Bhujbal.
The CAG report said: “It is pertinent to mention that the allottee was the nephew of then PWD minister from whose charge the land was transferred. Thus, there was an apparent conflict of interest.”
Kadam mentioned other irregularities while allotting lands in 1991 and 2004 at concessional rates to Sindhudurg Prasarak Mandal to set up a community centre.
Rane, however, said there is nothing to prove that he is directly related to the trust. “This is much ado about nothing. Such concessions have been given to all educational institutes,'' he said.
The report has also pointed out that land allotted to Vikhe-Patil was given at concessional rate of Rs. 17.35 lakh instead of Rs. 91.35 lakh.