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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Land Scams - Sukna Is Just One Of Them

The Sukna land scam is in the news for the last couple of weeks with lots of flip-flops amongst Generals, politicians et al. However this is not the first time such an issue has come to light. And like in the other cases, after a lot of talk, allegations, clarifications the issue will die down and those involved in the scam will laugh all the way to the bank.

While I was surfing the net for news on the Sukna scam, I came across a report in the Indian Express about the shady deals in the "Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society" in Cuffe Parade, Mumbai. Apparently the land which was known as Eco park was transferred to the society formed for the welfare of Kargil Heroes. The land was transferred to the society at hugely concessional rates. At the time of the article which is dated 2003 their was a lone subedar in the list of members. The deposit amount at that time was Rs 6 Lakhs. Considering the amount to be twenty percent as is the norm, the flat was valued at 30 Lakhs in 2003, A huge amount by any standard and no army jawan or for that matter an officer would have been able to cough out that kind of money in 2003 unless they were having some other source of income.

Kargil, must have been a reason for the discounted rate. Since the rest are heavily connected Babus, senior officers and politicians. The more famous ones among these are • Admiral Madhavendra Singh Bhagwat Singh, Chief of Naval Staff uRear Admiral Raman Prem Suthan, Fleet Commander, Eastern Fleet • Lt Gen Gurbaksh Singh Shiv Singh Sihota, GOC, Southern Command • Major General T K Kaul, GOC, Maharastra and Gujarat Area • Maj Gen Varinder Singh, former GOC, Maharashtra and Gujarat Area • Ramchandra Sonelal Thakur, Subdivisional officer, Defence Estates • Subedar Ramnarain Achelal Thakur, ‘‘Kargil Hero’’ • Major Rajiv Kumar Hitnarain Singh, ‘‘Kargil Hero’’ • Kanhaiyalal V Gidwani, MLC, Shiv Sena, Mamta Kanade, wife of senior IAS officer Ramesh Kanade • P V Deshmukh, deputy secretary, urban development department,

Read the full Indian Express story at the link below

That was 2003. Seven years later the building continues to be built and is nearing completion. However nothing is being done about it. No investigations, no questions. The media itself has forgotten about it, though it finds mention, along with other prime land scams, in a recent article in Times of India at

A 2 bedroom flat in cuffe parade would cost more than 3-4 crores today. Compare this with the Rs 30 lakhs, the members would have paid at that time and you can see the enormity of the scam. Surprisingly none of the news papers are following up what was a "Breaking News". Maybe they have been "taken care of".

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