scam

Maharashtra CM sacks IAS officer for alleged involvement in real estate scam

A senior Maharashtra officer caught on tape quoting a price of four crores to facilitate a housing project despite violations has been sacked by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Radheshyam Mopalwar was heading the department that is building the Mumbai-Nagpur expressway, the Chief Minister’s pet project.

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer was removed after an audio clip said to be a phone conversation between him and a real estate agent was leaked and circulated.

Mr Mopalwar can be heard saying that getting a Rs. 15,000 crore housing project cleared in the mantralaya (state administration) would cost the builder “4 Crores”.

“He will have to give something in Mantralaya. Quote one crore to him…If he (builder) gives one or two (crore) in Mantralaya then he will get that (land),” the officer tells the agent, who does the math and asks if it all adds up to four crores.

In another setback, the state Opposition parties produced a letter that the Prime Minister’s Office has sought a report from the state Chief Secretary on allegations of disproportionate assets against the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) head.

The PMO’s communication followed a letter by ruling BJP legislator Anil Gote who complained of Mopalwar allegedly having amassed disproportionate assets of over Rs 800 crore, spelling embarrassment for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena alliance.

The 1995-batch IAS officer was in-charge of Fadnavis’ pet showpiece projects, including the Rs 46,000-crore Mumbai-Nagpur Super Communication Expressway.

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