BJP slams state, varsity on land deal

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday staged a protest against the Kalina land deal under which the state gave Indiabulls permission to construct residential apartments on two acres of Mumbai University land in lieu of building a central library on the remaining two acres.
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Updated on Jan 21, 2011 02:30 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday staged a protest against the Kalina land deal under which the state gave Indiabulls permission to construct residential apartments on two acres of Mumbai University land in lieu of building a central library on the remaining two acres.

Senior leaders of BJP and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the party’s youth wing on Thursday said the deal is nothing but a way to hoodwink students and the public. The opposition alleged corruption at the highest level in the deal.

“This is a straight case of corruption by the state government and we want the whole deal cancelled. The government owes an explanation to the students of Mumbai University and the people of Mumbai," said Parag Alavani, general secretary, BJP Mumbai who participated in the protest held outside Mumbai University at Kalina.

The Hindustan Times on January 13 reported that the state government entered into an agreement with Indiabulls wherein the latter would get half of the four-acre plot on a 99-year lease if the company constructed a library on the remaining two-acres. According to market estimates, the value of the four-acre land will be around Rs 500 crore.

According to an agreement signed between the state government and the Mumbai University, the state government can ask for the land only if they want to use it for making roads, public safety or utility purposes, alleged an ABVP leader. HT has a copy of the said agreement.

“Now the government is using half the land for building apartments for the rich. This is unacceptable and we urge the university to protest and warn the government to cancel the deal,” said Rajesh Dabholkar, president, North Central, ABVP. A senior official at Mumbai University told HT, “The university itself needs more land for expansion.”

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