After giving a plot in Andheri to Bollywood actor and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Hema Malini for just Rs 1.75 lakh, the Maharashtra government will give her Rs 8.25 lakh as refund.
Hindustan Times was first to report on April 16 about the state government’s decision to allot the plot for a paltry sum of Rs 1.75 lakh and how the BJP MP will not have to pay any money against the plot. Now, a city-based right to information activist Anil Galgali has found out through an RTI query that the government will return Rs 8.25 lakh out of Rs 10 lakh the actor had earlier given to the government for another plot.
The government, however, clarified that the price of the plot was decided on the basis of a policy on allotting land to cultural and educational institutions. These bodies are required to pay only 25% of the cost of the land and that too as per the rates on February 1, 1976.
In line with this, the market price of the 2,000-sqm plot as per Rs 350 per sqm is Rs 7 lakh and 25% this is Rs 1.75 lakh. Since the actor already paid Rs10 lakh for a plot in Versova Village in 1996 that could not be alloted as it came under a coastal regulatory zone (CRZ), the state will return the balance - Rs 8.25 lakh - to her.
Galgali, meanwhile, alleged that the government is cheating the public. “On one side it is levelling allegations on the opposition leaders that they have amassed properties at cheap prices and on the other hand the government has allotted property worth over Rs 70 crores for just Rs 1.75 lakhs to Hema Malini Dance Academy. This is the first incident wherein any government which has allotted land will also be paying from the exchequer as well.”
Hema Malini will be setting up a dance school and cultural complex on the plot through her charitable trust called — Natya Vihar Kala Kendra.