MESCO had sought MIDC land at Rs 100/sq m
Paid seven times more, deal done at Rs 7 cr.
The land at MIDC bought by the Maharashtra Ex Servicemen Corporation (MESCO) Ltd for Rs 7 crore, part of which was a Rs 3-crore loan from the Flag Day Fund raised from charity — this was revealed in an RTI reply and reported by The Indian Express earlier — came at more than what the MESCO had bargained for.
On June 7, 2010, the Maharashtra Ex Servicemen Corporation Ltd (MESCO) had written to the then Industries Minister Rajendra Darda that an MIDC industrial plot be offered to MESCO at Rs 100 per square metre for an Ex Servicemen Industrial Estate.
MESCO had worked out that the project would be feasible only if 10,000 square metre was offered at Rs 100 per square metre. MIDC had quoted the price at Rs 7,000 square metre. In spite of the difference of Rs 6,900 per square metre, which took the price from Rs 1 crore suggested by MESCO to a whopping Rs 7 crore, it was purchased for 'employment generation for ex servicemen'.
The project, reported to be the brainchild of Col (rtd) Suhas Jatkar, the MESCO Managing Director, was proposed in 2009.
MESCO, saying it would generate employment for over 1.98 lakh retired services personnel in the state and citing the retirement of 6,000 personnel from the three services every year, proposed an industry for manufacture of automobile components, spare parts, engineering components, and fabrication works including niche components for defence, Railways and even scientific equipment.
"The industry will have sufficient orders from defence organisations as well as civilian industries. To fulfill increasing demands of various engineering and automobile industries, there will be various categories of works using advanced technology," a brief project note proposed.
What makes the proposal unrealistic is the ground zero situation at MESCO and the inadequacy in planning and projections needed for such projects.