Mhada to take back its unused plots

Written By Unknown on Senin, 16 September 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) has started the process of repossessing plots allotted to charitable trusts and housing societies that have not been developed.

Recently, an internal inquiry revealed that its land bank was depleting since such plots were being given away.

Mhada has asked the state government to cancel allotment of three prime plots in Oshiwara. The plots were allotted prior to 2003 by the then chief ministers using their discretionary powers.

The three cases include two plots allotted to Nargis Dutt Charitable Trust, of which Congress MP Priya Dutt is a trustee, and the Saishraddha Cooperative Housing Society. Dutt's trust was given a 10,000-sq m plot to construct a hospital and another 2,000-sq m plot for a school. The third plot was given to construct a residential building. Dutt said the trust had voluntarily surrendered the plot. "The government had approved the allotment during my father's tenure, but the physical possession came during my tenure. My trust is not rich. I was therefore taking time to make the payment of over Rs 21 crore demanded by Mhada for the plots," said Dutt. "My idea was to develop a hospital in such a way that its commercial wing would subsidize the medical cost for weaker sections. But, when a controversy arose, I decided to return the plots to avoid my parents' name being maligned. I am now waiting for Mhada to refund my deposit of Rs 3 crore for the plots," she added. Mhada officials said the allotment was sought to be cancelled due to issues over payment. "The trust was requesting that it be charged an annual rent of Re 1. Mhada was asking for Rs 21 crore, but it was then brought down the asking price to Rs 11 crore. The trust still delayed payment," said an official.

In Saishraddha's case, Mhada has recommended cancellation as the land was not developed despite repeated notices to the society. "We are now sending notices to the rest of the allottees who have not developed the plots," said Satish Gavai, Mhada's chief executive officer.

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