Free Press Journal

Navi Mumbai land deal: Maharashtra government appoints judicial panel


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Mumbai: The Maharashtra government today appointed a single judge committee to inquire into a controversial land deal in Navi Mumbai. The committee will also inquire into all such deals involving the sale of land after allocation in the last 15 years as part of the Koyna dam rehabilitation policy, stated a GR (Government Resolution) issued by the Urban Development department.

The government has appointed Kishor J Rohi, a retired judge of the Bombay High Court, to conduct the enquiry, it stated. The opposition Congress had last month accused Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of facilitating the “land scam” by allotting 24 acres of CIDCO ((City and Industrial Development Corporation) land, valued at over Rs 1700 crore, to a private builder for just Rs 3.6 crore.

The land in question is located in Kharghar node in neighbouring Raigad district. Congress leaders Sanjay Nirupam and Randeep Surjewala had alleged the state Urban Development department had helped the private builder “illegally acquire” the notified land in the name of compensating a group of families displaced by the Koyna power project.

Rejecting the allegations, Fadnavis had announced in the Legislative Assembly that he would order a judicial probe into the 200 cases of sale of land after allocation, and also the present case of 24 acres land being sold to a builder.

As per the GR, the Navi Mumbai land comes under survey number 183 of Ove village in Panvel taluka of Raigad district. CIDCO is the planning authority in the region. The panel would also enquire into whether the land under survey number 183 belogs to the state government or CIDCO and about its status, stated the GR.

Fadnavis had said that the Navi Mumbai land did not belong to the CIDCO as claimed by the Congress and that it was the agricultural land belonging to the state government. He had also said that the land was purchased by the builder from eight farmers as agricultural land.

The panel will also check whether district collector of Raigad was authorised to distribute the said land to the project-affected people (PAP), it stated. The committee will find out whether the sale of the land in Ove village (Kharghar) in pieces was permitted and if proper procedure was followed while conducting the purported land deal, as per the government order.

The scope of the panel is widened to cover all the PAP land deals and to find out discrepancies, if any, it stated.