Leader of the opposition Eknath Khadse on Monday demanded an inquiry and stay on a cluster redevelopment project at Lower Parel, spread across 4.2 acres, undertaken by the Shreepati Group.
Khadse alleged that chief minister Prithviraj Chavan’s predecessor had ignored norms and remarks by local officials and granted a letter of intent to the project. Khadse, who has been training his guns on land scams in this budget session, asked Chavan to probe the project and another urban land ceiling scam at Yerawada in Pune. Khadse alleged irregularities in these deals in his speech on the discussion on budgetary allocation for urban development department and housing department.
Shreepati Group’s project envisages redevelopment of nearly 25 low-rise buildings, chawls, including a municipal colony, and 154 shanties at NM Joshi Marg, Lower Parel. The developer will construct high-rises to accommodate tenants, besides a 72-storey luxury apartment tower as the sale component.
Khadse said, “Authorities from the empowered committee, set up to clear cluster redevelopment projects, to the urban development department and even the chief minister’s secretary had not cleared Shreepati Group’s project and had asked for more information on the same.” He added that despite such remarks by officials, and the developer not having the mandatory 70% consent of tenants, the former chief minister gave a conditional letter of intent to the developer. “The then CM granted the letter of intent on May 21, 2010, which states that it is on condition that the developer provides information like 70% consent of tenants,” he said. Ashok Chavan was chief minister at the time.
Reacting to Khadse’s allegations, Ashok Chavan said, "I do not recollect the details of this project. But, I can vouch that nothing illegal was cleared by me during my tenure."