A special judge has observed that there is a case against Hiranandani constructions for blatant violations in its Powai project. The court also directed the Anti Corruption bureau to investigate the matter and file a report. Along with Hiranandani there are also a few bureaucrats who face the axe. Among them Mr.Thomas Benjamin, a secretary in the Urban Development Department. Mr.Benjamin had curiously levied a Rs 3 crore fine on Hiranandani for the violations, which range into a few hundred crores at least. The reason that Mr.Benjamin gave was even more curious than the fine. He said that the figure was arrived after referring to the previous decisions of MMRDA and the Govt.
Most people who live in Hiranandani complex do not know that their glitzy apartments worth a few crores were supposed to be part of the Powai Housing Development scheme for economically weaker sections of society. The scheme was announced in 1977 and was supposed to cover the villages of Powai, Kopri and Tirandaz, an area of 140 hectares. The state gave Mr.Hiranandani 230 acres at a Rs.1 per hectare as Mr.Hiranandani was supposedly going to build ‘affordable’ housing for the economically weaker section.
The contract between Mr.Hiranandani, the state and MMRDA was for 10 years during which not only did Mr.Hiranandani not build ‘affordable’ housing but also failed to handover 15% of the residential units to the government, as was stated in the contract.
As a reward for his ‘excellence’, neither the MMRDA or the BMC took any punitive action against Mr.Hiranandani.
In the end, as a token of his appreciation, Mr.Thomas Benjamin slapped a fine of Rs 3 crore and decided that it was enough.
Another day,another scam in the great nation of India.