Development of mill plots a scam
Ashish Shelar on Sunday alleged a Rs 500 crore scam in the development of several mill lands in central Mumbai, including Kamala Mills, where a fire killed 14 people on Friday. He accused former Congress chief minister Ashok Chavan of benefiting builders and mill owners by offering them high floor space index (FSI) to build IT parks. FSI, which defines how much can be built on a plot, was double the normal FSI available for developing mill lands. On Saturday, TOI had reported how builders used IT Park FSI but later sold or leased out space to banks, financial services firms, MNCs and restaurants. Kamala Mills was one of the plots where FSI meant for IT parks was misused, said Shelar.
Chavan rubbished the allegations and said the BJP government wanted to hide its failure and the corruption in the BMC which led to the fire. “The state government policy was to subsidise IT parks. If there was misuse of FSI why did the BMC and the state government not take action over the last three years? Instead of conducting by a highlevel inquiry and strict action should be taken on accused, the BJP leaders are making baseless allegations on the opposition,” he said.
Shelar said that in 1998, the Kamala Mills project was approved as “data processing units”. In 2008, the mill applied for additional FSI under the IT policy. “This additional FSI was consumed by increasing the floors of existing buildings. It is doubtful whether they checked the structural stability of old buildings for putting extra floors,” he said.