Mihan landscam-Cornered Reatox seeks land denotification
March 25, 2011. The Board of Approvals (BoA) of the Union Ministry of
Commerce directed the Development Commissioner, MIHAN, “to take strict
action directly and through the agencies concerned in the matter and
submit a report” about the flagrant violation of SEZ Act by Reatox
Builders and Developers, the developers of housing project ‘First
City’. The Board had taken a serious view of the fact that the builder
had sought to sell the housing apartments to non-SEZ parties.
March 26, 2011. Reatox makes an application to the Development
Commissioner of MIHAN to have the 31 acres of land under its
development regime denotified.
The dubious link between the two events, on two consecutive dates, is obvious.
Cornered by the tough stance taken by the BoA, the builder now is
trying a slimy way out of the complex web of mistakes he has been
committing for all these years.
After ‘The Hitavada’ took the violations to the court of people and
after the Government of Maharashtra asked the Big Boss of Maharashtra
Airport Development Company (MADC) R C Sinha to resign on account of
his inexplicable favours to Reatox, the builder found himself at the
losing end of the story -- having to endure days without any
prospective buyers visiting his offices, his advertisement campaigns
meeting with cold response from the market. The prospective buyers had
only simple questions to ask: Can we buy the flats legally? Will that
be a safe transaction? Are you authorised to sell the flats to
Finding it tough to answer these questions, the builder has now tried
a new trick -- have the land denotified from the notified Special
Economic Zone -- so that he can escape from the grip of the SEZ Act.
Of course, things are never going to easy for Reatox. For, Development
Commissioner (MIHAN) Ved Prakash is not willing to budge. He confirmed
that co-developer M/s Reatox Builders and Developers has made the
application for denotification. But his office has responded by saying
that the builder has no right and authority to make such a request.
For, he is only a co-developer with the MADC. Only MADC can make such
an application, but the final decision rests only with the Board of
As of now, the harsh reality for Reatox is that it has no locus standi
no matter how keenly it wants to have the land denotified. Another
part of the harsh reality, thus, is that it will have to device a
newer trick to convince prospective buyers and also to retain the
loyalty of people who were tricked into buying the flats already.
There are many other and complex issues involved:
1. The disapproval of the Board of Approvals and its directive to the
Development Commissioner (MIHAN) to take stern action has come after
the meeting attended by as many as 38 top-notch bureaucrats who
realised the fraud taking place in Nagpur SEZ.
2. The effort to have the land denotified tantamount to gobbling up
the land acquired for a totally different and sublime purpose of
3. Denotification would also mean that the poor farmers whose lands
have been acquired cheaply have no way to get justice.
4. Another interpretation of denotification is that under that
arrangement, the developer (that is the MADC), and the co-developer
(that is Reatox) will have a field day to handle the denotified land
in any manner they wish.
Prosecute Reatox, Sinha, demand activists
Shocked by this audacious behaviour, Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti
President Kishor Tiwari has demanded criminal prosecution of M/s
Reatox Developer and R C Sinha- then Vice-Chairman and Managing
Director of MADC for cheating people of Nagpur and Vidarbha and
snatching lands from farmers on a false pretext. Like Adarsha
Co-Operative building, the First City towers should be pulled down
immediately, he demanded.
President of Citizens Forum and social activist Baba Dawre who is
fighting against land acquisition for MIHAN also echoed the same
feelings and demanded that lands acquired by misleading farmers and
people of Central India, should be returned them with immediate
effect. If the land was required for township of private builder, why
our farmers were deprived from getting fair compensation and a share
in profit. Then everybody lectured us to make a sacrifice for a
project of national importance that would generate lakhs of jobs- but
in the end we have few greedy builders who are making money on our
land, he lamented while lashing out at supporters of First City and
They want their land back!
First City is coming on 31 acres of land (Survey Numbers 9, 10, 12,
14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 40, 47, 48, 49 and 50 in Mouza Khapri)
originally owned by Bhagwan Dahane, Sheshrao Mahakalkar and other
farmers of Khapri village.
Bhagwan Dahane and his family got a paltry Rs. 11 lakh from the sale
of their 2.52-hectare land on Survey Numbers 20, 21 and 22. Sheshrao
Mahakalkar’s family got a compensation of only Rs 5.50 lakh for its
ancestral land 1.5 hectares at Survey Number 49 and 50.
The Government had acquired 6.12 hectares of land of Ushabai Rathod at
Rs 31.67 lakh, 3.78 hectares of land of Satish Rathod at Rs 17.46
lakh, 2 hectares of land of Daulat Mashram at Rs 8.56 lakh, 3.69
hectares of land of Govinda Sontakke at Rs 19.34 lakh, 1.72 hectares
of land of Gyandeshwar Sontakke at Rs 5.85 lakh, 0.36 hectares of land
Leheji Masram at Rs 1.27 lakh, 0.74 hectares of land of Fakira Masram
at of Rs 2.52 lakh, 0.58 hectares of land of Rodba Sayam at Rs 2 lakh,
2.18 hectares of land of Yamuna Yadavrao Dandekar at Rs 6.71 lakh,
0.97 hectares of land of Kamlabai Rambhau Zade at Rs 3 lakh and 1.5
hectares of land of Mahakalkar family at Rs 5.50 lakh.
They have a common demand- we want our land back and with compensation
as per prevailing market rate. Why should MADC make profit at their
cost and why should a private builder reap dividend in the name of
public project despite violating every rule