By NewsGram Staff Writer
The BAG Films Education Society (BFES), chaired by Anuradha Shukla, wife of Member of Parliament Rajiv Shukla purchased a multi-crore plot in upscale Mumbai for a paltry sum of Rs 1 lakh, a news report said.
In 2008, a 2,821-sq-m government owned plot in Andheri, reserved for a primary school, was sold to BAG Films Education Society (BFES) for a paltry Rs 98,735. The report also revealed that a 3,534-sq-m plot adjacent to the first one, reserved for a playground, was allotted to BFES on a 15-year lease for just Rs 6,309.
For the first plot, the state charged BFES only 25 per cent of this value, or Rs 98,735, while making it clear that the land could be only used for a primary school. On the very same day, the second plot was given to BFES on a 15-year lease based on the 1976 land value of Rs 6,309.
The current market value of the two plots, located near Andheri’s Country Club, is a staggering Rs 100 crore, even if going by a conservative standard.
The society had applied for the plots in 2007 when Member of Parliament Rajeev Shukla, was its secretary and the state revenue department accepted the request and allotted the two plots to BFES in September 2008.
While allotting the plots, the government calculated their value based on 1976 rates, or Rs 140 a square metre.
The reason behind the huge discounts and use of 1976 rates remains a mystery.
“The allotment is nothing but a scam and we have already urged the district collector and chief minister’s office to conduct a thorough inquiry. Until the inquiry is completed, the allotments should stand cancelled,” said Ashoke Pandit, convenor of Save Open Spaces, an NGO told Mumbai Mirror.
Anuradha Prasad, however, denied any foul play in the allotments.
“The rates were calculated by the government and we paid the sum that was expected from us. It is for the government to decide the value of the plot,” Prasad said.
Denying responsibility for the allotment, Sanjay Deshmukh, suburban collector, told Mirror, “The allotment of such plots is done at the state level by the revenue and finance departments. My office only implements the order they give. However, I will look into the case.”