FPJ Exclusive: Prestige Group Gets Gandhi Nagar Colony Redvelopment Project Without Bid

FPJ Exclusive: Prestige Group Gets Gandhi Nagar Colony Redvelopment Project Without Bid

MHADA Vice President and CEO Sanjeev Jaiswal said he had no clue about the redevelopment of Gandhinagar LIG Colony.

Dharmesh ThakkarUpdated: Saturday, April 27, 2024, 01:40 PM IST
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Nashik: MHADA Sends Notices To 200 Builders For Non-Compliance With Housing Quota | File Photo

A major controversy is brewing right under the nose of the  Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) bosses at Kalanagar, Bandra East, favouring the scam-tainted DB Realty Group for a redevelopment project of a low income group (LIG) colony in Kalanagar, next to BKC.

The 750-odd residents of 18 buildings in the Gandhi Nagar Low Income Group (LIG) housing colony, just 100mt from MHADA headquarters, are allegedly being forced to accept the Bengaluru-based Prestige Group being represented by DB Realty for the redevelopment of tenements spread over 8.5 acres. The colony is in a prime location with easy access to the Western Express Highway and the airport. 

DB Realty is led by Shahid Balwa, who was arrested years ago in the 2G scam. The unrelated presence of Balwa and Nabeel Patel, DB Group’s director, at the site is making the plot murkier. Balwa and Patel did not respond to calls, mails and messages for comments. 

The Free Press Journal, meanwhile, accessed documents and video footage of MHADA officials coercing residents to sign consent forms and complete the 79 A procedure to appoint the Prestige Group for redevelopment late night for some buildings at Rajyog restaurant and bar behind the MHADA office. Another shocking irregularity by MHADA top brass includes accepting a mere Rs25 crore bank guarantee given by Prestige Group for the Rs3,300 crore redevelopment project with windfall FSI bonanza to be used by the developer.

Retired school teacher A Joglekar said, “We were not informed that Balwa and Nabeel Patel of DB Group were part of the redevelopment project. Both were present at meetings with MHADA officials and residents. They made  tall promises but no documents were shared about the redevelopment plans.”

Another feisty home maker Prajakta Satam said, “Shiv Sena legislator Anil Parab is also present at all meetings with MHADA and Gandhinagar residents along with Shahid Balwa and Nabeel Patel. They want the votes of Marathi manoos but don’t want Marathi people to live in Mumbai.” Satam has filed several complaints against the illegal procedures undertaken by MHADA officials to foist Prestige Group on them. 

“Residents have to be given a choice to select the developer but MHADA is forcing us to complete the 79 A procedure and sign consent forms without inviting tenders. We have not met any representatives of Prestige Group but officials of the DB Group are present at the meetings,” a local resident  Deepak Kandalkar alleged. He said the developer should be selected through a transparent tender process. “We do not want another Patra Chawl-type controversy and lose our homes,” he added. 

MHADA CEO Faces Scrutiny Amid Gandhinagar LIG Colony Redevelopment Controversy

MHADA Vice President and CEO Sanjeev Jaiswal said he had no clue about the redevelopment of Gandhinagar LIG Colony. “ I m not aware of any irregularities by MHADA officials. If any complaint is made action will be taken,”  Jaiswal told FPJ. He suggested that another IAS officer Milind Borikar may have information about the project. Borikar did not respond to calls and messages from FPJ. 

Jaiswal name had figured in the BMC Covid scam and was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) probing a money laundering case in the award of contracts worth  Rs 4000 crores for BMC COVID supplies and Jumbo COVID centres.

ED searches at Sanjeev Jaiswal's  Bandra residence had led to  the seizure of several property documents allegedly valued over Rs 150 crores, fixed deposits receipts of Rs 15 crores and jewellery which the senior bureaucrat claimed were gifted to his wife by her father.

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