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Maha govt takes back land on which WTC stands in Mumbai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra government today took back the land on which the World Trade Centre in plush South Mumbai area stands, after it found “grave violations” of the terms set by it while allotting the prime area in 1970. Mumbai District Collector Ashwini Joshi said that the land was originally allotted to M Visvesvaraya Industrial Research and Development Centre (MVIRDC), which then affiliated itself (sub-leased it) to WTC- New York.”The land on which the WTC building stands, has been taken back. The land was originally given to MVIRDC, which later affiliated itself to WTC- New York. People running the WTC indulged in several violations of the conditions set by the government,” Joshi said. “The grave violations included disposing of the premises without the sanction of the government, keeping premises under-utilised, not paying dues and opening of subsidiaries without permission to dispose of capital investment received by them,” she said.When the government realised the scope of violations six months back, it asked her to hear out “MVIRDC managing committee and MVIRDC lessees association (that had complained to the government)” and the report was sent to the government in September. “The violations were of serious nature and against the terms set by government in its GR, under which the land was allotted to them. Thus, after giving several notices to them and resultant unsatisfactory explanations, we passed this order,” she said. Joshi further said that part of the land was already taken back by the government in 1976 and it still had 46,000 sq mt land left with it.

Maharashtra govt takes back World Trade Center in Mumbai for lease norm violations

Convinced after an enquiry that the World Trade Center (WTC) at Cuffe Parade in Mumbai has violated lease norms, the Maharashtra government on Thursday ended the lease of the iconic WTC in Mumbai and took the property under its custody.

World Trade Center in Mumbai. Screenshot from WTC websiteWorld Trade Center in Mumbai. Screenshot from WTC website

World Trade Center in Mumbai. Screenshot from WTC website

The WTC, which is officially known as the M Visvesaraya Industrial Research and Development Centre (MVIRDC), had entered into a lease agreement in 1970 with the purpose of giving a boost to trade and commerce.

In October, a Mumbai Mirror piece listed out the major lease violations in the 30-story building.

“Among the major violations found by the collector denying the state its dues – it is supposed to share 50 per cent of its earnings, after deducting all expenses, with the state; allotting space to a restaurant in the refuge area, construction of offices and shops without permission, setting up of as many as eight mobile phone towers on government land, and financial irregularities.”—the report said.

However, MVIRDC gave the building on sub-lease to Worle Trade Centre over a decade ago in violation of the original lease norms. Soon after the Worle Trade Centre took over the 48025 sqm complex it further sub-leased it to different national and international firms.

It has been alleged that the WTC has not paid dues from 2012 amounting upto Rs 20 crore.

The hearing was on for last three months under City Collector Ashwini Joshi, who informed the state government of the ongoing irregularities following which the government acted on his report on Thursday after the nod from Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

The state government has also filed a caveat in the Bombay High Court on Thursday to this effect. A copy of the order to the WTC is available with Firstpost.

Former Union minister Kamal Morarka and industrialist Vijay Kalantri looks after the affairs of the WTC.

First Published On : Nov 24, 2016 23:15 IST

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