(TOI, Oct 26, 2010)
PUNE: Municipal commissioner Mahesh Zagade on Monday said that every possible step was taken to ensure smooth’ and speedy’ process to issue Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) to citizens whose property is acquired for public purpose. The General Body (GB) meeting of the PMC meanwhile approved the state government’s amendment to the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act regarding issuance of TDR.
Following the complaints made by corporators on Monday that common citizens whose land is acquired for public purposes are facing problems to get the compensation in form of TDR, Zagade assured that the administration would put in efforts to avoid any complications resulting in delay in the process.
“We have already initiated steps according to which every head of department is aware of the land they have to acquire and the compensation they have to issue for the same. We are trying to set up a mechanism where any delay in issuing TDR could be avoided,” said Zagade. He added that the primary responsibility to start the TDR process is of the heads of departments and they have to communicate with the land owners.
The GB also approved the state government’s amendments to the MRTP Act. As per the new rules, TDR issuance shall now be permissible in the cases where award has not been declared and the possession of the land has not been taken.
TDR issuance shall not be permissible where possession of land has not been taken and where the full or partial amount of compensation has been paid by the municipal corporation or the government under any provision of any Act. TDR issuance shall not be permissible if the amount is deposited in the treasury or the court or the land owner or interested person accepts a part of the full compensation.
The process to issue TDR became more complex after a multi-crore TDR scam had rocked the PMC in 2005. The first scam hit headlines in October 2005, when it was found that the PMC had been allegedly duped to the tune of Rs 14 crore by two property owners and their agent, who procured TDR for a plot of land in Kothrud which had already been acquired and paid for by the civic body.
The civic administration had then lodged a complaint of cheating and forgery against Prabhakar Bhide, Haridas Parekh and Balaji Hire.
Bhide and Parekh owned a plot of land in Kothrud, which was reserved under the Development Plan of Pune for a municipal garden. The PMC had acquired the plot by paying monetary compensation to them.
However, the case took a turn when corporators claimed that the scam was masterminded by civic officials themselves and not by the property owners. The scam had later been referred to the state Anti-Corruption Bureau in view of its serious nature.
(TOI, Oct 26, 2010)