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Committee to probe ''forged signature'' allegation

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, Apr 4 (UNI) The Maharashtra Government today said a ommittee, headed by Urban Development principal secretary would look into the allegations regarding submission of forged signatures of consent for Crawford Market redevelopment.

Ruling coalition members today raised the issue during a debate on a calling attention notice on redevelopment of Crawford Market in South Mumbai on build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.

Raising the issue, Mr Sachin Ahir (NCP) said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had taken a shocking decision to hand over redevelopment of the Crawford Market to a private developer at an extremely nominal rate.

Alleging that there was corruption worth crores of rupees, Mr Ahir said without the permission, forged signatures of consent were submitted to the government.

He and other members said the BMC, which is ruled by the Shiv Sena-BJP, was planning to dereserve other plots in the city as well.

Replying to the discussion, Minister of State for Urban Development Rajesh Tope said Principal Secretary (Urban Development) would head a committee to verify the signatures and if they are found fake, criminal action would be taken.

He also assured that a meeting of legislators would be held to modify the proposal, if neccessary.

Mr Tope said the government had approved the redevelopment plan submitted by the BMC. There was no proposal to lease the area at Re one per sq ft. Under the proposal, BMC would be the owner of the building as well as the plot. The proposal would benefit the civic body. About 37 per cent of the plot would be given to the developer, 23 per cent to the licensees and 40 per cent to the BMC.

The proposal for the improvements committee will have to be passed by the general body of the BMC and the State government will have to give permission about lease fees and permission of the heritage committee.

Mr Gopinath Munde (BJP) said Shiv Sena-BJP has withdrawn the proposal and a decision would be taken after suggestions and opinions from all sections of the society.

UNI MR KU TM HT2337

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