MUMBAI: The state government on Tuesday told the Bombay high court it had taken back over 38 sq km of land given on lease or occupancy basis to private entities following breach of terms of allotment.
It also said that nearly 1,513 sq km was allotted across Maharashtra.
The details were given in an affidavit submitted to a bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Amjad Sayed during the hearing of a PIL by advocate, Sanjiv Punalekar, which alleged that the government allotted vast tracts of public land to private entities and non-governmental organizations but had done nothing to ascertain if they were abiding by the terms of allotment. TOI has in a series of reports highlighted how plots that were allotted at concessional rates for educational or cultural purposes were being misused. The court had previously directed the government to state what steps it had taken to ensure the terms were complied with and of action, if any, taken for breaches.
The affidavit by the department of revenue and forests said nearly 1,513 sq km was allotted to 81,141 entities and breaches were noticed in 5,119 cases. It also said action had been taken so far in 1,108 cases and over 38 sq km was taken back.
Advocate Virendra Ichalkaranjikar, appearing for Punalekar, submitted that only statistics of land allotted were uploaded on websites of some district collectors but not the details of the terms of allotment. He said according to an earlier government resolution, all documents pertaining to the land transactions were to be uploaded. The judges directed the government to file another affidavit after three weeks, and granted time to the petitioner to reply to Tuesday’s affidavit.
Credits ET Realty