Congress demands Maharashtra Housing Minister be axed

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New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS) The Congress on Monday demanded that Maharashtra Housing Minister Prakash Mehta be remover for allegedly approving transfer of slum dwellers’ building rights to a major builder in a slum redevelopment project and demanded a judicial enquiry by a High Court judge.

“Serious case of corruption amounting illegal benefit to the tune Rs 500-800 crore, of wilful violation of rules, collusion with chosen builders and officials is rocking the Mahrashtra legislature.

“Mehta illegally approved transfer of slum dwellers’ building rights to a major builder in a slum redevelopment project in south Mumbai’s Tardeo area,” said former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Union Minister Prithviraj Chavan.

“While sanctioning the proposal, the minister used the name of the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and overruled specific objections by his secretary. CM has denied his involvement and has ordered an enquiry against the minister,” he said, adding that the matter raises serious question of probity and corruption.

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The Congress alleged S.D. Corporation, a well-connected builder in Mumbai, had sought changes in its M. P. Mill compound project, to permit transfer of building rights granted to slum dwellers to a new scheme for project-affected people and its attendant benefits, a move which goes against Development Control Rules of Mumbai but was sanctioned by Mehta.

“In spite of this specific rejection by the Housing Secretary, Minister Prakash Mehta overruled him and illegally approved the proposal,” said Chavan, demanding Mehta be dropped till the enquiry is completed.

“The enquiry must be a judicial enquiry conducted by a judge of the High Court under the Commission of Enquiry Act. All the 137 files cleared by the CEO-SRA two weeks prior to his retirement must be reviewed.

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“All the current projects of the builder in question, who was easily able to corrupt the entire system must be investigated,” he said.

“The onus is now on the Chief Minister. Having ordered an enquiry, he has accepted prima facie wrong-doing by the minister,” he said, adding that the Congress demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make good his pre-election promise of “Na Khaunga, Na Khane Doonga”.



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