MUMBAI: The Opposition BJP in Maharashtra on Friday alleged a Rs 300 crore scam in the redevelopment of Manora MLA hostel in south Mumbai, citing that the project cost had increased by 66 per cent in two years.
In a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, BJP legislator Atul Bhatkalkar demanded to know why the contract for redeveloping the hostel at Rs 600 crore was scrapped and reworked at Rs 900 crore.
"How was there a cost escalation of Rs 300 crore in two years? Who is the beneficiary of this Rs 300 crore scam?" he asked.
Bhatkalkar demanded that the contract be scrapped and a thorough probe be conducted in the entire matter.
The BJP MLA also threatened to file a complaint in this regard with the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC).
The earlier Devendra Fadnavis-led government in Maharashtra had signed an MoU with the Central government's National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) for the project at Rs 600 crore, Bhatkalkar said.
"If the government fails to scrap the project, the BJP will launch an agitation," he said.
Meanwhile, the state Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said, "Manora could have been repaired. However, under the Fadnavis government, the repair work was embroiled in scam. The decision to revamp the hostel was taken by the BJP government in 2018, and the NBCC appointed by them demolished the structure in 2019."
This delay had cost the state government more than Rs 700 crore, as each month around Rs 3.5 crore is being paid to MLAs, who don't have a home in Mumbai (even BJP MLAs are paid Rs 1 lakh each), he said.
The state government had last year entrusted the redevelopment of the hostel situated in Nariman Point to the Public Works Department.