The CIDCO Employees’ Union delegation led by its President Nilesh Tandel rocked the CIDCO’s Board meeting held on June 29 by vehemently opposing the table item seeking the Board’s directives on the extension of validity of to be granted to Videocon Industries Limited. The issue has once again brought to the forefront what many believe is another CIDCO scam but perhaps of the biggest magnitude of over Rs. 3000 Crores. Monika Bhosale reports. The CIDCO Employees Union gathered at CIDCO HQ in Belapur to discuss the future course of protest they will take up to oppose the issue pertaining to the allotment of land admeasuring 100 hectares for setting up the TFT-LCD project by the VIL. The union has alleged that CIDCO has been playing foul by allotting the land near SEZ having a market price of around Rs 3,000 crore for a measly Rs 40 Crores if the shares were not calculated. It may be recalled that in November 2007, the CIDCO Board approved the in-principal allotment of land to VIL for setting up the project. The land to be allotted admeasures 100 hectares in three packets at three places admeasuring an area of 60 hectares in Dronagiri, 18 hectare in Karanjade and another 22 hectare in Kamothe. In August 2008 when the State cabinet was giving its approval to this Videocon – CIDCO project, Revenue Minister Narayan Rane, opposed the proposal. But despite Rane’s stand against the project, the state has given approval to the project. However the controversies began on the validity of the MOU given to Videocon. In order to commission the project, the VIL was initially given an extension of validity of the MoU till December 31, 2009. Videocon failed to meet the deadline and so in the CIDCO Board of Director’s meeting held on January 5, 2010, CIDCO again gave Videocon an till February 26 and also further resolved that no extension be granted after February 26, 2010. However, VIL then represented to their case to the State Chief Minister Ashok Chavan saying that that without the allotment of land, it is impossible to get approvals from the authorities and the time granted upto February 26, 2010, is not sufficient enough to complete the formalities. And so the CIDCO Board of Directors gave Videocon an extension for the third time – time till June 30, 2010. However, Videocon has failed again and the state has directed CIDCO to given them another extension for which a proposal will be tabled at the board’s meeting on July 9th. It is against this that the CIDCO Employees Union is protesting and contemplating to go to court. The Union believes that the state has not taken them into confidence before taking the decisions on the Videocon project. They say that there is an urgent need for a MD in CIDCO. The General Secretary said that the state did not have the powers to take a decision on behalf of CIDCO in the case of given extensions to Videocon. CIDCO Chairman Nakul Patil said that they would pass on the grievance and concerns of the Employees Union to the state. He added that though CIDCO had not approved of it, the extension is given on the instructions of the state. On the other hand Jt. MD Tanaji Santre refused to comment on the matter. The CIDCO board has now proposed to allot the land to the VIL allegedly without obtaining a NOC from the State Environment Department, MPCB or the Health Departments. With cameraperson Santosh Borade, Monica Bhosale for NMTV News.