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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

Slum redevelopment project in Mumbai: Congress demands housing minister’s resignation

Prithviraj Chavan also asked chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to initiate a probe into the matter

mumbai Updated: Jul 28, 2017 23:31 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times

 Former chief minister and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan sought state housing minister Prakash Mehta’s resignation for allegedly tweaking rules for a slum redevelopment project at Tardeo in the developer’s favour.

Chavan also asked chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to initiate a probe into the matter, as orders issued by Mehta were allegedly approved by Fadnavis. Mehta has been accused of issuing orders to the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) on June 21, asking it to tweak the original order permitting the developer to utilise the floor space index (FSI).

He allegedly asked the SRA to give permission to the builder to use the additional FSI for another project meant for project-affected people (PAP) in the same area. This would have given the developer additional 71,822 square feet.

However, the chief minister revoked the alleged changes approved by Mehta and asked additional chief secretary (housing) Sanjay Kumar to submit a report on the files cleared by Vishwas Patil, the then SRA chief.

Raising the issue through a debate in the assembly, Chavan said, “How come the housing minister, having no powers, can issue such an order to the SRA, an independent authority and also mention that the chief minister was informed about his decision?” He added, “The chief minister has already denied having any knowledge of the incident. He should take this seriously and must initiate a probe into the matter. The housing minister should resign until the probe is completed as his integrity is now in question.”

Fadnavis’ reply is expected on Monday.

First Published: Jul 28, 2017 23:31 IST