The Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) has rapped the state government for lacking in a mechanism to carry out periodic review of the lands allotted to Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and other public sector undertakings. Such a system, according to the top auditor, is necessary to ensure that the government used the land not required by these undertakings for other welfare measures.
The government has now announced tabling the CAG reports in the state legislature on April 16, four days before the end of the ongoing budget session. MIDC is the nodal agency that aims to achieve a balanced industrial development in the state. According to the CAG, 532.78 hectare of the state's land was lying unutilised for various periods ranging from four to 22 years due to non-finalisation of layout plan, non-establishment of industries and non-availability of water. The auditor also castigated the government for having left 446.86 hectares of land unutilised for spans of time ranging from five to 36 years.
The CAG also pulled up the government for not maintaining a data base of land. The collectorates at Mumbai suburban district, Pune and Thane had failed to maintain a distribution register that gives details of land, area and purpose. A similar register of government land leased was either not maintained or updated in the Nagpur collectorate. The absence of the register with relevant details deprived the collectorates from monitoring the cases relating to breach of conditions, keeping track of cases where lease period had expired.
Ironically, the CAG report, whose CD was presented by BJP legislator Devendra Phadnis in the state assembly, said no specific time period was mentioned for the utilisation of land at the time of its allotment. About 1 lakh hectares of land has been in the possession of the MIDC, and a part of that had been used to promote industrial units and provide them with infrastructure facilities.
According to the CAG, 12.15 hectares allocated to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation remained vacant for 24 years. The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company underwent an identical state for five years with 19.73 hectares it got, while it was 36 years for 408.50 hectares allotted to Maharashtra State Mining Corporation and 32 years for 4.40 hectares to the Development Corporation of Konkan.