In a major twist to the issue of land allotment to Koyna project-affected persons (PAPs) in Navi Mumbai, it has now come to light that the 24 acres of prime land allotted to the legal heirs of the Koyna PAPs comes under the residential (R) zone and part of it is reserved for a central park. With this, the collector’s decision to allot the said land to eight PAPs for agricultural use, itself, comes under suspicion.
The legal heirs of eight Koyna PAPs had applied to the Raigad collector on November 18. After due process, the collector allotted 24 acres of land in Navi Mumbai (for agricultural purposes) to these persons on February 26, 2018.
Although the land allotted came under class one and farmers were free to sell the same, a condition was imposed that the land be brought under cultivation within two years.
However, Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam claimed that the land came under the “R” zone and was reserved for a garden by planning authority, CIDCO.
Mr Nirupam alleged that the chief minister’s office played a vital role in the allotment of this land. Thus, allotment of reserved land under the “R” zone for agricultural purposes, itself, was wrong or done for extraneous reasons and could be cancelled, said senior officers.
The latest revelations are contrary to the government’s claims that there was no irregularity in the land allotment. If the case goes to court, the government may be in trouble, a senior officer said.
CM Devendra Fadnavis has undertaken a review of the case and will take a decision soon. There is a lot of pressure on him to withdraw the land allotment, highly placed sources revealed.
Meanwhile, MLA Prasad Lad who has been accused of playing a major role in the scam by the Congress, has threatened to file a `500 crore civil suit in the high court if the Congress does not apologise in three days.
As per the documents called for by the CM, Manish Bhatija and Sanjay Bhalerao of Paradise Bui-lders purchased the land on May 15, 2018, showing compensation given to PAPs as lower than the ready reckoner rate and market rate hough they paid stamp duty.
As per CIDCO’s development control rules, allotment of land under its jurisdiction has to be made only after due permission. Whereas, the power to make changes in the zone under which the land falls is vested in the urban development department helmed by the CM. Hence, a decision will be taken after considering all facts, said senior officers.