Maharashtra government delayed demolition of Mumbai restaurant over IAS links: NCP, Congress

The Opposition questioned the delay in demolishing the illegal extension by MMRDA, saying that the state government arm-twisted the planning body. 

mumbai Updated: Jul 26, 2017 01:22 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Bandra-Kurla Complex,restaurant
Minister of state for urban development Ranjit Patil, while admitting the delay by MMRDA, informed the lower house that the illegal structure had been razed.(HT)

The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday hit out at the state government in connection with an alleged illegal extension built by a restaurant at Bandra-Kurla Complex. They questioned the delay in demolishing the illegal extension by MMRDA, saying that the state government arm-twisted the planning body. 

They said that the government dragged its feet in razing the structure because an IAS officer, who was attached to the chief minister’s office, was related to a director of the company, which runs the restaurant. Minister of state for urban development Ranjit Patil, while admitting the delay by MMRDA, informed the lower house that the illegal structure had been razed.

Congress legislators Sunil Kedar and Vijay Vadettiwar alleged that MMRDA did not demolish the extension despite the court orders. Vadettiwar said that the MMRDA was under pressure from the officials in the CMO. He added that after hearing a PIL, the high court issued strictures to the government and Patil to demolish the structure. NCP MLA Jitendra Avhad said that Patil should not made a scapegoat.

Patil informed said that case was sub-judice and the government would conduct an inquiry to find out if MMRDA failed to take timely action against the restaurant. “The restaurant has razed the illegal construction. Let me clarify here that the government did not retrain MMRDA from taking action,” Patil said.

Significantly, the question on the restaurant was raised by BJP’s Sardar Tarasingh but he later announced that he was satisfied with the written reply. When the speaker called for next question, the opposition raised objection and demanded a discussion on the subject.

Meanwhile, the Opposition slammed the government over poor conviction rate in cyber crime cases.

Congress’s DP Sawant said, “The government has been boasting about the improved rate of conviction. If it is so, it should tell us the conviction rate in cyber crime cases and what is the mechanism to safeguard cashless economy. It should also tell us about the training given police personnel to deal with such cases,” he said.

Senior BJP leader and former revenue minister Eknath Khadse said that many were facing life threats and losing their hard earned money owing to the lack of stringent provisions in the laws.

Minister of state for home Ranjit Patil said the government, if possible, would amend laws. “In the 8,108 cases registered so far, 3,836 accused have been arrested.

“The government has planned to invest Rs 837 crore in next five years to prevent cyber crimes,” he said.

First Published: Jul 26, 2017 01:19 IST