For the unaware, MIDC has slyly given a plot of prime location (Mhape) to M/s Maruti Suzuki (India) Pvt Ltd for Commercial use. In my earlier blog, I had mentioned about this. What is MIDC? It is Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation and it is NOT Maharashtra Commercial Development Corporation.Asian Age has gone ahead and printed as this is clear cut nexus between Neta-Babu-Corporates. I had filed an RTI in this regard. Now in my next blog I will actually mention the names of bureaucrats who have made this huge SCAM happen.
The story below is the scam (appeared today in Asian Age and DNA online)
A glaring irregularity has been reported in the department of industries, which has allegedly allowed a commercial activity in Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) land near Thane. The alleged scam came to light when RTI activist-journalist Vikrant Joshi sought details of the area with MIDC, which reportedly flouted an array of regulations and permitted a commercial unit of the Maruti Suzuki to run operations in the industrial plot, located at Mahape.
Reports made available to Iamin by Joshi indicate that the alleged violation of rules has taken place in the transfer of land which was given on lease to RPG Life Sciences by MIDC. As per the said documents – plot number Gen- 25 and Gen-25A admeasuring 48, 632 sq meter in Trans-Thane Creek (TTC) Industrial area located Pavane (Mahape) was earmarked to M/s Searle (India) Ltd in 1967. However, based on the directives of the Bombay High Court (order of 14 December 2007), the name was changed to M/s RPG Pharmaceutical Ltd in 2007. Again as per the amalgamation in 2011, the company was renamed to M/s RPG Life Sciences Ltd.
On 20 May 2014, RPG Life Sciences Ltd divided the leased plot Gen-25A and formed plot Gen-25B and sold it Maruti Suzuki for Rs 13 crore. To double this, the car company further subdivided the plot as it approached the MIDC to permit the sale-purchase deed between RPG and Maruti and allow commercial activity on the purchased land.
During the purchase of the land – Maruti Suzuki outlined the utility of the area for – ‘setting up a facility centre having workshop and imparting service training to dealer’s personnel to improve skill level of technicians.’ However, in later correspondence, it has mentioned to set up a showroom of cars.
The said permission was denied by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MIDC Bhushan Gagrani, who stated that a subdivision of the industrial plot and use of it for commercial purpose is not allowed in the MIDC Act. “The proposal was received of subdivision of plot Gen-25B2 of Maruti Suzuki (I) Ltd to allow commercial use, I immediately rejected it on 14 February 2014,” Gagrani added.
Upon the red-mark received from Gagrani, the issue was then heard at the Minor Modification Committee (MMR) headed by the Joint-CEO, who allegedly recommended allowing bifurcation of the plot and permit commercial activity on industrial land.
Dr P Anbalgam, joint CEO issued a notification on 5 November 2013 in which he mentioned that industrialists are asking to bring back policy of change of purpose of industrial plot for commercial and that the MMC could think over it. Dr Anbalgam recommended that commercial use could be permitted on A and B class industrial land with prior permission of CEO and MMC.
Piggy-riding on the reference made by Anbalgam, Industries Minister Subhash Desai on 16 March 2015 signed the file and allowed subdivision of plot and use of commercial on industrial plot for Maruti Suzuki. He stated on the file that ‘I have gone through the proposal as per A and B read alongwith circular dated 5/9/2013. Request of change in use of land from Industrial to commercial allowed.’
A senior state government official, speaking to Iamin, said, “The circular of Jt CEO Dr Anbalgam has not been approved by the Director Board of MIDC. This was a decision pertaining a key policy and should have been presented before the state cabinet for final approval. However, it seems that the procedure was ignored.”
When asked, Industries Minister Subhash Desai refuted the allegations saying, “No rules have been flouted. However, I shall investigate the said case.”
Meanwhile, MIDC CEO Bhushan Gagrani said, “The main intent of MIDC is industrial development, not of residential or commercial. Thus no plot, including the one you mention, must be commercialised.” He added that there is a technical availability of 20 per cent land in MIDC to develop supporting activity – like schools, hospitals, homes, fire stations and even commercial units.
“Thus, the minister is right in approving the commercial activity in the plot, if there was a 20 percent land bank. However, there looms a question as to whether the permission should have been given or not,” Gagrani explained, while adding that he had refused the permission.
However, on been questioned on the sub-leasing of the plot he said, he would ask a regional officer from MIDC to investigate and comment on it.