The Bombay High Court on Fridayquestioned the Maharashtra governments decision to hand overaround 26 acres of the government polytechnic college in Puneto the PMRDA as its viability gap of funding of Rs 812 crorefor the Hinjewadi-Shivajinagar proposed metro rail project.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta andJustice G S Kulkarni was hearing a PIL filed by GPPians(Past Students Association of Government Polytechnic Pune)challenging a government resolution of August 27, 2019, bywhich it handed over portion of the land on which thepolytechnic college is situated on Ganeshkhind Road to thePMRDA for the metro line.
The petitioners claim is that instead of financialfunds, the state government decided to give land to the PuneMetropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) forcommercial use to fund the metro project.
As per the plea, the state government was to provideRs 812 crore as financial assistance to the metro railproject, but instead it took a decision to provide land to thePMRDA to raise funds.
The bench on Friday noted that this was like a”barter” system.
“Is such a barter system legal? Today, you(government) are giving land where an age-old college standsto fund the Metro project…tomorrow you (government) willhand over some other land for some other purpose. How is thisfair?” the court said.
The bench directed the Maharashtra government and thePMRDA to file their affidavits in response to the petition andposted the matter for further hearing on December 8.
The court said all parties shall maintain status quowith regard to acquisition of the said land till January 31,2021.
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