Amid a series of allegations of wrongdoing against him, revenue minister Eknath Khadse has cancelled the allotment of a 22-acre plot to a controversial educational institute run by Chhagan Bhujbal and his family in Nashik.
The state government had given the plot to Mumbai Education Trust (MET) to extend its campus. The decision to revoke the order, issued on May 30, based on a proposal by the Nashik collector that the two land parcels (measuring 22.56 acres) should be taken back for violation of terms and conditions that were imposed at the time of allotting the land.
“The educational institute (MET) has clearly violated the terms and conditions. The proposal made by Nashik collector to take back the plot has been accepted and the allotment orders dated November 6, 2003, and January 1, 2009, should be cancelled. The land parcels should be taken back in the possession of the revenue department,” said the order passed by Khadse.
The land allotment first came under scanner after Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on India in 2012 had passed strictures for ‘undue favour’ to the educational institute (MET) by allotting large parcels of land at concessional rates. This led the then state government to start fresh scrutiny in the case. During scrutiny, it was found that MET had not fulfilled condition to develop the plot within the stipulated time — two years from the date of allotment.
Reacting to this development, Pankaj Bhujbal, MET trustee and Chhagan Bhujbal’s son, said the government decision will be challenged. “This is a deliberate attempt by the BJP government to target us, which is being unjust with MET,” he said.