According to the latest information obtained by IndiaScoops.com, the going rate or actual rate for the orchard land purchased by the Goa government from Shiroda MLA Subhash Shirodkar was about 12 to 15 times lesser or lower than what was paid by the government.
IndiaScoops.com spoke to several sources, builders, real estate agents and lawyers in the South Goa- Shiroda belt, who confirmed that the rate paid by the government was more than 12 times the actual or current rate for the plot of land.
The land deal involving former Shiroda Congress MLA Subhash Shirodkar was clearly a “sweat deal” of a different kind, where the Goa govt acquired 1,83,524 sq mts of orchard land from Shirodkar at a very exorbitant price of a Rs 70 crore, of which Rs 17 crore has already been transferred to the sellers, reports the Herald.
According to research carried out by lawyer and social activist Diya Shetkar from Shiroda, who has done a thorough investigation into the deal, the government has willingly paid 12 to 15 times the actual rate for a plot of land which was not needed immediately.
Says Adv Diya Shetkar, “I have accessed internal documents and notings’ on documents which show that the Goa GSIDC was not interested in the plot of land, but the CM forced the Industries Department to purchase the plot in a tearing hurry.” Adv Diya Shetkar from will be filing a PIL in the High Court to challenge the deal between Shirodkar and the Goa Govt.
Not just that, Jaideep Shirodkar, South Goa Zilla Panchayat member , has alleged that Subhash Shirodkar’s company, does not even have a office or has not been doing any business. This company was formed only to get the benefit of the sale. Further the Goa government had told the Bombay High Court at Goa that it did not need the land, a few months before the deal was re-finalized.
“The company doesn’t have any address, or any projects. It has not done any business worth mentioning. It just owns the land that was acquired. The land in question is barren, and has a few other individual stakeholders too besides the company,” Jaideep Shirodkar told IndiaScoops.com.
Vedanta Real Estate Developers, owned by Shirodkar and his three brothers Amit, Umesh and Sattesh, had purchased this land on October 19, 2006 for a mere Rs 45 a square meter. In the year 2009 Shirodkar was ready to sell the same land for less than Rs 3 crore approximately. In 2012-14, he was asking for about Rs 9-10 crore for the same plot which he finally sold – thanks to CM Manohar Parrikar and his secret deal with the BJP for Rs 70 crore – at a profit of about Rs 60 crore, claims Adv Diya Shetkar.
In his affidavit for the 2012 polls, Shirodkar had said that he bought the land on a joint ownership on 31 October 2006 for Rs 1.08 crore. In the same affidavit, Shirodkar had said the prevailing market value of the land was Rs 3.72 crore.
What is also questionable is, why did the government acquire the same land for a very hefty price of Rs 3,500 per sq meter.
IndiaScoops.com has also learnt that the GSIDC or the Goa State Industrial Development Corporation was not interested in purchasing the plot of land from Shirodkar and had also intimated and informed the Goa CM of its decision not to purchase the land from Shirodkar. But the CM went ahead with the deal and got the Industries Department to purchase the plot at a whooping 12-15 times the real cost of the land.
Officials in the Industries Department, which purchased the land, have no clue about why the land was acquired, says social activist and Goan advocate Aires Rodrigues. Normally it’s the departments which put up a proposal to the government to acquire any plot of land if it’s required for official purposes or development work. Here the CM forced the department to purchase the land even it was not required, Shetkar asserts.
The land purchase and Shirodkar’s subsequent defection has raised many questions, causing the state Lokayukta to seek a report from the chief secretary based on a petition filed by Goan activist lawyer Aires Rodrigues. The Lokayukta has also asked the state government to furnish all records related to the land acquisition.
“Land acquisition by the government is always for a particular purpose, but here, land is being acquired by Industries Department without having any plan in place for what purpose the acquired land would be used,” said an official from the Industries Department who did not want to be identified. Even the Industries Department is surprised as to why the CM wanted to acquire the land, says Adv Diya Shetkar.
According to a Herald report, another land owner had by a letter dated April 5, 2018 addressed to the Chief Secretary with a copy marked to the CM’s office, offered the government 1,40,650 sq mts of his land in Shiroda for Rs 350 a sq mt and a copy of that letter had been also sent to the Cabinet Advisory Committee comprising Ministers Sudin Dhavalikar, Francis D’Souza and Vijai Sardesai.
But Parrikar ignored and turned a blind eye to this offer, choosing to buy only Shirodkar’s plot at that exorbitant sum.
Meanwhile, IndiaScoops.com has learnt that Rs 17 crore has already been paid to Shirodkar and another Rs 5 crore may be paid in the next few months. Interestingly, according to Adv Diya Shetkar, the company is not even registered and no records of Shirodkar’s company appear in official records.
According to social activist Kenneth Silveira from Dabolim constituency, Parrikar is a fraud who has misused his official position as the CM of Goa.