Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Illegal Sale of Rehab Flats for Mumbai Airport Expansion: 12 Arrested, 53 Booked

In a concerning turn of events, 12 individuals have been apprehended, and charges have been filed against 53 people for engaging in the illicit trade of free houses designated for project-affected persons (PAPs) relocated due to the Mumbai airport expansion project.

During a ceremony held at a private banquet hall in Andheri last Friday, the local MLA distributed keys to 53 PAP flats. However, Saki Naka police revealed that some recipients immediately sold their flats in violation of regulations, as PAP flats are not allowed to be transferred or sold for a minimum of 10 years post-allotment.

Acting on tip-offs from informants, the police conducted a raid, resulting in the on-the-spot arrest of 12 individuals. More than 53 people, involved in the sale and purchase of the flats, were booked for offenses including cheating, forgery, breach of trust, and criminal conspiracy. Authorities are actively pursuing another 40 individuals who managed to flee.

In collaboration with MMRDA officials, the police raided Galaxy Hall at Saki Naka, discovering over 400 people gathered. The local MLA, Dilip Landge, was distributing keys to houses for Kranti Nagar residents affected by the airport’s expansion.

Police officials stated that when apprehended, some individuals were unable to provide documentation demonstrating their eligibility for the flats. Those who were eligible were found to be illegally selling the allocated flats, leading to arrests for causing financial losses to the exchequer.

According to officials, a total of 18,222 flats were constructed 10 years ago in 30 buildings at HDIL Premier Road, Kurla, aiming to rehabilitate around 15,000 citizens displaced from the premises of the Airports Authority of India (AAI). However, all the flats remained vacant as AAI did not promptly proceed with the rehabilitation efforts.

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