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Gujarat Congress alleges GIDC land ‘scam’ in Bharuch; baseless, says BJP govt | India News

The Gujarat Congress on Monday alleged corruption in the process of allocation of land to industries in two GIDC estates in Bharuch, though the state government refuted the claims as baseless.

In June 2023, the GIDC management had declared Saykha and Dahej estates as “saturated” zones, which required allocation of plots to be done only through public auction, but reversed the decision in February this year, Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil told reporters.

The Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation management declared the two estates as “unsaturated”, which meant plots could be allotted at a fixed ‘jantri’ rate without the need for public auction, he pointed out.

This was done to allot land at a throwaway price and thereby commit a scam of Rs 2,000 crore, Gohil alleged and sought an explanation from the BJP government in the state on the reversal of the June 2023 decision.

He also sought an investigation into the issue by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court or the High Court as it had allegedly caused a massive loss to the state exchequer.

“When a GIDC is declared as saturated, it requires sale of the remaining plots through auctions, which brings more revenue for the state,” the senior Congress leader said.

However, addressing mediapersons, Minister Rushikesh Patel said the decision to declare them as unsaturated was taken by the GIDC board in its 519th meeting after the state government received representation from industry bodies.

Industry bodies brought to the government’s notice that there is adequate unsold land in the two GIDCs and, therefore, they should not be declared as “saturated,” which the government considered and reversed its decision in the 519th meeting, Patel informed.

“There are both chemical and engineering zones within the Dahej and Saykha industrial estates. The GIDC decided to declare the entire estates as saturated zones after considering that nearly 90 percent of the plots were sold in the chemical zones of these estates, even when the engineering zones had adequate land,” Patel said.

“After receiving representations from industrial bodies, the GIDC in its 519th meeting declared the two estates as unsaturated after considering the fact that when taken together, the chemical and engineering zones had adequate land available,” he said.

There is no irregularity in the decision and not a single plot of land had been allocated in Saykha, the minister said, adding all decisions on allocation of land is taken by a committee after considering all aspects and through a transparent process.

“The GIDC is a non-profit institution. Allegations of financial loss to the government amounting to crores of rupees by allotting land in Saykha is entirely baseless and fictitious,” the minister asserted.

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