Cong-owned AJL constructing more than allowed on Mumbai land: Panel

Mumbai: A committee appointed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to probe alleged misuse of land allotted to Associated Journals Limited has said that the newspaper company is undertaking construction work in excess of what it was allowed.

The Gautam Chatterjee committee submitted its 20-page report to the principal secretary of the revenue department Manukumar Srivastava.

‘AJL building more than allowed land’ Congress, which owns AJL and the now-defunct National Herald newspaper, was constructing a commercial building on a plot of 3,479 sq/m in suburban Bandra, off the western Express Highway, instead of building a research centre dedicated to Jawaharlal Nehru for which it had been allotted the plot.

While AJL had said it would require 11,000 sq ft construction in basement and 9,000 sq ft on top of the building, it is in reality constructing on over 83,000 sq ft, a majority of which is for commercial usage, the report states.

This is in contravention of a government resolution that states one can use no more than 15 per cent of the area for commercialisation to cross-subsidise the project, an RTI activist said.