Land grants for educational purposes being used otherwise
An application was filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get the details about the prime land in Mumbai that have been allotted at concessional prices for educational purposes.
The reply to the application showed that the beneficiaries of the concessional grants in past three decades include Union Minister Rajiv Shukla's BAG Films Education Society along with other trusts backed by four former chief ministers, a state cabinet minister, two MLAs and a former MLA. The RTI reply stated that the state government had allotted at least 25 such plots in Mumbai suburbs alone including prime areas like Bandra-Kurla Complex, Bandra, Andheri, Kandivali, Malad and Ghatkopar and 16 of these were allotted at concessional rates on occupancy basis for school and colleges.
However, it has been reported that in most of such allotments, terms and conditions were grossly violated and that in many cases the government even allowed up to 30 per cent commercial exploitation. It is to be noteworthy that the criteria for valuation of such land is based on norms fixed 18 and 35 years ago. For concessional grant for schools, the government follows a 1984 government resolution allotment is made at 25 per cent of plot's value as per ready reckoner (RR) rates applicable on February 1, 1976. In case of colleges, a 1992 government resolution is being followed allowing the price to be 50% of RR rates applicable five years before allotment.