Stop work on Marine Lines project: Govt
MUMBAI: The state government on Monday instructed the Wakf Board and the BMC to immediately issue a stop-work notice to a project being constructed by the D B Hospitality at Marine Lines in south Mumbai.
This is the second major D B Hospitality project that the state has put the brakes on. A few days ago, the government cancelled the extra FSI granted to a D B project in Pune.
Officials said the work has been stopped because the project did not have the go-ahead from the Wakf Board. "State minorities minister Arif Naseem Khan has instructed BMC officials to ensure that constructions at the south Mumbai project are immediately stopped," a senior Mantralaya official said. The directive was given at a Mantralaya meeting attended by a Wakf Board representative, the charity commissioner and BMC and law and judiciary officials. They were reviewing the sale or lease of 130 Wakf properties in the city for which the charity commissioner's office had allegedly granted clearance in violation of rules. Though the south Mumbai project was not part of the 130 properties, but the matter cropped up during the meeting. A D B spokesperson, however, did not comment on whether the plot was a Wakf property or not.
He also denied that there was any illegality. "The property in question was bought in 1994 in a Bombay HC auction. The bids were submitted in the HC on September 28, 1994, and the highest bidder, Suresh Estate Pvt Ltd, deposited the amount on October 4, 1994. The property was transferred to Suresh estate on October 11, 1994. D B bought the land in 2005 from Suresh Estate Pvt Ltd and the conveyance deed was signed in 2006. D B Hospitality has all the necessary documentary evidence to support it," the spokesperson said, though he had nothing to say about the government's main contention that it was a Wakf property.
"The B Hospitality project is coming up on the Mohammed Ali Mohammed Hussain Roagi Trust land. The BMC's building proposal department gave the go-ahead for the construction despite no permission from the Wakf Board," a Mantralaya official said.
"On March 15, 2011, the Wakf Board wrote to the BMC commissioner, urging him to immediately stop the work on its plot. But the BMC did not take any action," he added. TOI was the first to report on how the charity commissioner's office, ignoring the rule book, granted permission to nearly 130 Muslim trusts to sell or lease their properties.
Khan, at the meeting, also instructed the Wakf Board to invoke Section 52 of the Wakf Act that empowered the board to cancel irregular deals and take back property. "The law has given powers to the board to acquire back its land. An inquiry has been ordered in the irregularities by the office of the charity commissioner. Disciplinary action will be taken against erring officials," Khan added.