‘Waikar not linked to any slum rehabilitation project’

Indicating a clean chit for Ravindra Waikar, who is battling allegations of conflict of interest, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) has submitted a report to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, stating that the minister of state for housing had no involvement in the handful of slum rehabilitation schemes under the scanner.

Vishwas Patil, chief executive officer of the SRA, said, “We have submitted a report saying on paper that the minister of state has no involvement or association with any of the developers implementing the slum redevelopment projects that he was alleged to have been associated with.”

Patil, however, added that the SRA was simply asked to conduct an inquiry to see if Waikar is linked with any of the six slum redevelopment projects, without passing any judgement. “We have not been authorised to give any clean chit. We were just asked to state the facts on paper, which we have,” he said.

Fadnavis had asked the SRA chief to conduct the inquiry after allegations of conflict of interest and misuse of office were levelled against the Shiv Sena Minister of State by Mumbai Congress Chief Sanjay Nirupam.

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Nirupam had alleged that Waikar was associated with six key redevelopment projects in Andheri and Jogeshwari, amounting to at least Rs 1,000 crore and involving work of about 3.5 lakh square feet. He alleged that Waikar arm-twisted agencies in his department and bent rules to be…

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