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Congress MP Rajiv Shukla's trust demands Rs 2cr to return leased plots

Author: TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: February 8, 2014
URL: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2014-02-08/mumbai/47147821_1_25-lakh-100-crore-bfes

Congress Rajya Sabha MP Rajiv Shukla's trust has sought a reimbursement of Rs 2.2 crore in lieu of returning the two prime plots in Andheri (W) which it had received on lease. It has told the state that it would remove the security it had deployed on the plots from February 15.

On receiving such a letter on Friday, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan wrote to the additional chief secretary, revenue, to forward the file to him so that the process of reclaiming the land could start.

 Bags Films Educational Society (BFES), which had Shukla as its secretary at that time, had applied for the lease of the plots in 2007. A week later, Shukla resigned as secretary. According to the development plan, one plot was reserved for a civic primary school and the other for a playground. The trust, in its application, had mentioned it would build a school for the poor there. In 2008, the state leased out the plots to BFES for 15 years and in 2009, the trust got possession. The land was apparently given out at rates prevalent in 1976. Activist Ashok Pandit, who exposed the government largesse to Shukla, said the plots together were now worth Rs 100 crore.

 In its letter to the government, the BFES said when it took possession in 2009, it was encroached upon and that it rehabilitated 29 slumdwellers at Rs 1.85 crore. With government help, it razed 314 illegal structures but 27 encroachers were still there. The trust claims to have deployed security for which it has spent a huge sum, besides paying Rs 25 lakh on a fence and electricity. Also, it paid Rs 98,000 for the school plot and Rs 38,000 as rent for the playground, Rs 4 lakh as stamp duty and Rs 2.5 lakh for extension of time limit to build the school, it claimed.

 BJP leader Kirit Somaiya alleged both CM and Shukla lied three months ago when the latter claimed he would return the land. "He is returning the land after being exposed. and to avoid criminal action.

 Merely because he has given it back does not mean he can escape prosecution. He must apologize to the people," he said.

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Land of Dipsute

The Plots: Two plots near Country Club, Andheri (W)

- One plot, measuring 28,210 sq ft, is reserved for a municipal primary school

- The Second plot, measuring 35, 347 sq ft is reserved for a playground

Lease: Cong MP Rajeev Shukla’s trust Bags Films Education Society applied for the lease of the plot in 2007 and was granted a 15 year lease in 2008. The trust took possession in 2009

Purpose: To run a school for the underprivileged

Cost: The trust got the school plot for Rs 98,735 and the ground for Rs 37,936. Those rates were reportedly prevalent in 1976

Collective Current Rate Rs 100 crore


What Shukla said in Dec
No activilty has done on the land. Despite that, we have written to the CM to take back the land. There is no irregularity in land allotment. Hundreds of societies have been given land in Maharashtra with same provisions, there is no irregularity

What Shukla said in Thur

There is no question of retaining the land. We have returned it to the state. We deployed security there only to ensure that the land is not encroached upon. We have even asked the CM to deploy cops so that we can remove our security
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