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Shinde, Fadnavis to review ‘fishy’ land allotment deals by MIDC

Mumbai: Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who stayed rampant allotment of land parcels by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) in June and July 2022, will review all proposals afresh following complaints of impropriety received by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO). Bhushan Gargrani, Additional Chief Secretary at the CMO, confirmed the directive issued on August 03, 2022 that stayed all land allotment decisions taken by MIDC between June 01 and August 03, 2022.

“This period included a time when, technically, no government was in place in Maharashtra. After complaints regarding fishy land deals were received by the CMO, we decided to review all allotments by the MIDC during this period. This is to discriminate between allotments that were as per proper procedure from those where impropriety is detected.” It may be recalled that Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari had also cited some decisions taken by the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government during the interim period of the political dispensation comprising Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress, before the new Maha Yuti government formally took charge. First India has learnt that despite seeking details of all land allotments in June-July were sought on August 03, 2022, the CMO is still awaiting them; a delay which it has not taken kindly. On Friday, Maharashtra’s Additional Chief Secretary (Industries), Baldev Singh, was summoned by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to answer questions related to the delay. “The industries secretary committed to submitting the full list of these land allotments by Monday (September 19). Once it comes through, those fishy deals will be discriminated against and set aside, while those taken in genuine interest of industry in Maharashtra will be ratified and cleared again,” said a state secretariat official. Another state secretariat official said, “Specific complaints were received about a spate of allotments carried out at the behest of a close family member of a minister in the MVA government.” Reacting to the charge, a bureaucrat formerly associated with the state Industries Department said, “There were so many plots allotted in many of the 289 MIDC industrial townships across Maharashtra. Many allotments were based on recommendations, requests received by the department from MLAs of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress across 288 constituencies. Proposals were also processed at the request of ministers from other departments to synergize joint collaborations for industrial progress allied to their departments as well.” The move is likely to result in a bout of litigation as land allottees, who are expected to come under scrutiny for indulging in alleged ‘fishy’ deals, may move court to stay a government rethink on the industrial plots allotted to them.

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