Land misuse: Case of 18 institutes sent to govt
Taking forward action against educational institutions for defying norms stipulated for getting government land at concessional rates, the district administration has forwarded its report on 18 of the 31 educational institutions they had issued notice for non-compliance with norms.
The state government had asked the district administration to check whether 63 institutions given government land for educational purposes in the district adhered to rules for getting land at concessional rate.
The government had asked the administration to initiate action against institutions found using the land for purposes other than the intended one.
"After a thorough inquiry of each institute we issued notice for violation of the Maharashtra Land Revenue (Disposal of Government Lands) Rules, 1971. Of the 31 institutes we issued notice to, we have forwarded 18 cases to the government,'' said a senior district official.
Earlier, a reply to an RTI query by The Indian Express revealed that five institutions had violated the rules and 27 were under verification for adherence. While documents about some were not available, the process of verification had not been completed in some cases and replies from educational institutes were awaited in some others.
The official said, "With the verification now completed, we have readied the final list. The process to ready a tally of government land in possession of these educational institutions if on."
The issue had surfaced in the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report that slammed educational institutions for changing land reservation of the plots acquired from the government, and renting out premises for purposes other than education.
Government lands are given free of occupancy price and revenue for setting up schools, colleges, hospitals, dispensaries and other public works out of which profit is not expected. The government also gives out land for playgrounds in schools and colleges, and also gymnasium for a period of 15 years on payment of a nominal lease rent of Re 1 per annum.
Most institutions allotted land do not have the date of land allocation on the list provided by the Pune district collectorate.
The issue was also raised in the state legislature wherein MLAs and MLCs demanded action against violators.
District collector Vikas Deshmukh had assured that the administration would conduct a detailed verification of all educational trusts and in case a violation was found the report would be forwarded to the government.
"The state government will decide the cases and the land can be procured from these institutions for some other purpose. There are several institutions which had thus usurped government land that could have been utilised for some other purpose,'' added the official.