On Wednesday Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) executive engineer, D K Mahajan received suspension order from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for misrepresenting facts and allegedly facilitated duping of the state by a builder in the Patra Chawl redevelopment project. He also instructed the housing department to seek an Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe into the company and directed the filing of an FIR against the developer, Guru Ashish builders.
The minister of state Vidya Thakur and industries minister Subhash Desai attended the meeting, also decided to eliminate the deal and directed MHADA to take back the land which was given to developer allotted.
In 2006, the MHADA and Guru Ashish builders joined hands to redevelop the chawl in Goregaon.
During the duration of the project, the builder had to hand over 50 percent of redeveloped houses to MHADA and pay rents to the 678 residents. In one of the reports by MHADA during this period, an officer noted 87 percent of the work was completed even as the residents claimed the builder had finished constructing only 300 flats and a few galas – less than 50 percent of the total work.
In 2011, MHADA audit disclosed that the builder had cheated the housing body of at least Rs 1,000 crore. MHADA directed the builder to stop work after the report found that the residents were neither rehabilitated nor paid rents during this period but the developer continued work.
Later on, the CM ordered Mahajan’s suspension after officers of the housing department and MHADA blamed him.