HC questions Maha's decision to give college land to PMRDA

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Mumbai, Oct 16 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Friday questioned the Maharashtra government's decision to hand over around 26 acres of the government polytechnic college in Pune to the PMRDA as its viability gap of funding of Rs 812 crore for the Hinjewadi-Shivajinagar proposed metro rail project.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni was hearing a PIL filed by 'GPPians' (Past Students' Association of Government Polytechnic Pune) challenging a government resolution of August 27, 2019, by which it handed over portion of the land on which the polytechnic college is situated on Ganeshkhind Road to the PMRDA for the metro line.

The petitioner's claim is that instead of financial funds, the state government decided to give land to the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) for commercial use to fund the metro project.

As per the plea, the state government was to provide Rs 812 crore as financial assistance to the metro rail project, but instead it took a decision to provide land to the PMRDA to raise funds.

The bench on Friday noted that this was like a 'barter' system.

'Is such a barter system legal? Today, you (government) are giving land where an age-old college stands to fund the Metro project...tomorrow you (government) will hand over some other land for some other purpose. How is this fair?' the court said.

The bench directed the Maharashtra government and the PMRDA to file their affidavits in response to the petition and posted the matter for further hearing on December 8.

The court said all parties shall maintain status quo with regard to acquisition of the said land till January 31, 2021. PTI SP NP NP