Mumbai, Nov 18 (TOI): Another land scam is raising a stink in Mumbai and this involves IPS officers. At least 19 IPS officers bagged flats in a posh Juhu residential society. Land for this society was given at a concessional rate. But the police officers did not live in their flats, violating rules under which the society was formed. RTI replies have revealed that till March 2010, all the 19 officers lived in their government quarters instead of moving into Vasundhara Cooperative Housing Society. The society, however, had got an Occupation Certificate in April 2007.
Around half of Mumbai's 42,000 policemen fend for themselves in cramped rented apartments as there are no government quarters for them. A PIL is set to be heard on Thursday in the Bombay High Court over the allotment of the Juhu plot to IPS officers to build the society, as the plot was originally reserved for police quarters and not private flats.
Yogacharya Anandji, Khar-based activist who filed the PIL, said he has also submitted an affidavit to the court. The affidavit contains RTI replies from the home department detailing official residences of the IPS officers till March 2010. Anandji also sent legal notices to all 31 members of the society, asking them why they have not been staying at Vasundhara, which has 2,500-square-foot flats. No replies were received.
One of the three pre-conditions for the allotment, as stated by then police commissioner M N Singh in a 2001 letter to the home department, was that if the officer was posted within Mumbai city he should stay at Vasundhara and not in government accommodation. Sources at Vasundhara confirmed that some of the flats have been rented out.
Former police chief Julio Riberio said it is shameful that senior IPS officers have grabbed land meant for police quarters. He said if the officers are not staying at the Juhu society, then the flats should never have been allotted. The built-up area of 70,000 square feet has a twin tower, nine-storey structure with all modern amenities, like a swimming pool and health club.