Shiv Sena leader and minister of state for housing Ravindra Waikar on Tuesday faced fresh allegations of involvement in a slum redevelopment scam.
Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam alleged that the minister and close aides had stakes in six ongoing slum redevelopment projects in Andheri and Jogeshwari that involved Rs1000 crore and were in violation of the rules.
Waikar rubbished the allegations and accused Nirupam of running a political campaign against him.
“There are companies — Aishwarya Light Construction, Aishwarya Vijayalakshmi Realtors and Avant- Aishwarya LLP — in which Waikar is partner or his close aide acting as his front man. The projects these companies have taken up generates 3lakh to 3.5 lakh sq ft saleable area, worth around Rs1,000 crore,” Nirupam said.
He accused Waikar of using his influence to get officials of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) and the Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority (Mhada) – both of which come under him as housing minister – to give permissions for these projects.
Two projects fall within 100m to 300m of the Kanheri caves, where construction activity is restricted as per the norms of the Archaeological Survey of India and directives of the Bombay high court, Nirupam said.
“We want the chief minister to conduct an inquiry into the matter through whichever agency he wants to. Waikar should be stripped off his position as minister in the meantime,” Nirupam said. Nirupam also demanded action against officials of the SRA and Mhada who issued permissions in breach of rules. “Nirupam has been making allegations against me from last few days but none of them have found to be factually correct. I do not want to give any explanation to his allegations since they are bogus,” Waikar said.