1,400 flats sold to the poor found locked, rented out; PCMC to seize them

The flats, each costing Rs 3.26 lakh, were sold to the poor by the PCMC in 2016 on the condition that they should not be sold or rented out for 10 years. The PCMC is set to take legal action against the beneficiaries.

The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has found out that 1,400 flats it had given out at an affordable rate through its Gharkul project at Chikhali are either unoccupied, rented out or in some cases sold, violating rules laid down by the civic body. The PCMC is set to seize these properties and take legal action against the beneficiaries.

The flats, each costing Rs 3.26 lakh, were sold to the poor by the PCMC in 2016 under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), on the condition that they should be sold or rented out for 10 years. However, a survey led by deputy municipal commissioner Anna Bodade on Saturday has revealed that two flats were sold, 198 flats were rented out and 1,223 were locked.

“We surveyed on the directions of the municipal commissioner Rajesh Patil who had received complaints regarding violation of rules by the beneficiaries,” Bodade told The Indian Express. He said the civic body would file a police complaint of cheating against the beneficiaries who have violated the norms.

“We will not just confiscate the flats but the beneficiaries will also lose the entire money they paid for them. These flats are not provided for renting out. The beneficiary has to stay in the flat. That is one of the conditions. However, it seems like the beneficiaries have other properties or flats where they are living and they have rented out the flats at the Gharkul project to make money out of it. The flats were sold to the beneficiaries at cheaper rates on the condition that they do not have any other property or flat anywhere in the country. But in this case, it seems like they have another property elsewhere. We will investigate and might even confiscate these flats if we find that the beneficiary owns another property,” Bodade said.

“Upon enquiry, we were told that some flats were locked for a longer period while some for a short period. We suspect that people bought the flats from us at a cheaper rate and are living in their other properties. If a person has locked the flat for a short period for some reason, we can understand that. But if it is locked for a longer period, we will find out the exact reason. If any violation is found, we will confiscate these flats as well,” he said.

“There will most probably be another draw of lots or we might pick those who were next in the queue as beneficiaries,” the official said.

Municipal commissioner Rajesh Patil said, “The survey was conducted to take action against those who have violated the norms. Accordingly, we will initiate the action.”

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