Maha CM accused of favouring private builder

The corporator, Ujwal Keskar, had lodged a complaint with the state Lokayukta in the matter three months ago.

Last Updated: Nov 03, 2011, 17:33 PM IST

Pune: An Independent municipal corporator on Thursday accused Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan of changing the zoning of some plots of land in the city to favour a private realtor.

The corporator, Ujwal Keskar, had lodged a complaint with the state Lokayukta in the matter three months ago, but has not received any response from the state government so far.

An official from the Chief Minister`s Office declined to comment on the issue when contacted by a news agency.

According to Keskar, the matter involved a total of 130 acres of prime land in Sus, a suburb of Pune.

"On May 20 this year, Chavan ordered that the land falling under no-development zone be changed to residential zone. It has been done at the behest of and to favour a local builder, M/s. Pearl Structures Pvt. Ltd," Keskar said.

Demanding an inquiry by the Lokayukta, Keskar claimed that the issue is similar to the recent developments in Karnataka, where former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa had to demit office.

Keskar, a former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator who quit the party and contested as an Independent, has gone public with his complaint on the day BJP leader LK Advani is scheduled to visit the city as part of his Jan Chetna Yatra.

Besides Chavan, who holds the crucial urban development department portfolio, Keskar has also named the department`s secretary and director of town planning in his complaint.

Hinting at a massive scam, Keskar said that earlier the price of the land in question was around Rs.150 per square foot, but after the change in zoning, it is now worth at least Rs 2,000 per square foot.

After construction of residential property, it will be worth more than Rs.4, 000 per square foot, he said.

IANS