Sunday, March 25, 2012

ROMF / Lok Housing Scam

  There is a mail regarding my earlier job, trying to smear and throw muck. While, I recognize every individual's right to do the same, I feel very violated and dirty within. That the mail was sent by someone who knows me, but who did not feel it worthwhile to ask me nor clarify has left a poor taste. But, then once I joined the IAC movement, I should have anticipated that there would be attacks - sometimes from foes and sometimes from friends :). This Diggy Raja kind of muck throwing is like a chinese whisper with the person using innuendos, lies, half truths and twisting facts. What do you defend against? Noone is around, noone is found and one is left sword fighting in the air. He has thrown mud, now one has to keep on defending and clearing off, but the dirty marks on your reputation always remaining.  But, Annaji said "Lathi, Goli khana hai". So, let it come :). Just stating things as I know it.

I was an independent Director in Lok Housing till I resigned in Aug '11 and also the secretary of Remaking of Mumbai Federation (a NGO) where also I resigned in Aug '11, due to my involvement in the IAC cause. 

It was in end of 2006 that my uncle, Lalit Gandhi asked me to join his company Lok Hsg to work on an idea that he had for redevelopment of Mumbai inner areas using the cluster process. He had been moved and inspired when over 4 buildings fell and around 100 people died in this collapse. Overall there has been over 700 deaths due to the collapse of some of these thousands of buildings, which were very old. Also, redevelopment of individual buildings was a bad idea, because it led to tremendous strain on infrastructure and only encouraged few feasible buildings' redevelopment. At the time of getting this offer of a job, I was working in the social sector and was involved with many NGOs for betterment of life at the policy level. I looked on this offer to propagate cluster development as the only solution to save Mumbai and as an opportunity to do good work at the grass root level and change the lives of lakhs of people.

So, an NGO called Remaking of Mumbai Federation (RoMF) was formed, and i became its hon secretary. Its purpose was to propagate the concept of holistic planning of Mumbai. We suggested that inner city of Mumbai be planned in an integrated and holistic manner by a public private corporation called City Planning and Monitoring Company (CPMC). With the help of master planners, the city should be divided into various clusters and Sector-by-Sector Development Scheme (SSDS) should be created by auctioning each sector and CPMC should plan and monitor the implementation of the same. Many eminent people and groups joined the federation and later some left due to variety of reasons. We used the process of advocacy with the urban development and Municipal corporation for holistic and integrated urban development. This led the UD to suggest to us to take up one sector and show us the efficacy of the model that we were suggesting. RoMF used mass awareness and debates, as well as presentations with various stakeholders, to partially convince them of the proposal. As a result of this, the government came out with its Housing Policy which talks about the cluster development concept and also DCR 33(9) for cluster development. This NGO was funded by Lok Housing as its Chairman Lalit Gandhi was a passionate proponent of good, international development of Mumbai. He used to say "Mumbai at the crossroads - disaster or a world class city?

To show the efficacy of the development model, we had to demonstrate a sustainable commercial model. Thus, a commercial company, Remaking of Mumbai Housing Infrastructure and Finance Ltd (ROMHIF) was formed. It worked with the tenants and all stakeholders to get their consents for redevelopment by ROMHIF in 30 acres properties in Chira Bazar. This was in end of 2008. The DCR 33(9) was not yet passed but was being discussed. In absence of a proper format, ROMHIF took the consents of the tenants on plain paper. After the DCR was passed, ROMHIF approached the High Power Committee (HPC) for a Letter of Intent (LOI) to redevelop this 30 acres. This was not accepted as the HPC said that the consents was not in the correct format. ROMHIF argued that there was no format then, nor was there one now. While the HPC appreciated our work and concept, it did not issue a LOI. 

ROMHIF needed to purchase buildings and re-present a case for redevelopment and therefore it made a Joint Venture development agreement with Unity Developers to redevelop the area. ROMHIF asked for a certain amount as premium for the works that it had done from Unity, including the plain paper consents. While earlier Unity was interested in 30 acres redevelopment, it changed its view to redevelopment of 5 acres only. This was a legitimate business deal, for ROMHIF to charge for intellectual or intangible activity.

Along with Unity, ROMHIF again approached the HPC and convinced them that to go back to so many tenants for the consents would be difficult. HPC was requested to issue a provisional LOI, so that within a period of 9 months,  70% consent of the tenants in the right format would be obtained. The HPC found this reasonable and forwarded to the UD. The UD stated that while the consents were in the name of ROMHIF, the new application was in the name of the Joint venture company and asked the HPC to reply on their queries and suggested that ROMHIF be given just 3 months to get the consents in the correct format.

I have read some mails which says that ROMF took the consents and ROMHIF took commercial advantage.  All consents were taken by ROMHIF only. 

I still believe that this was a great project and would have changed the face of Mumbai and saved the lives of many. I also believe that this was legitimate activity, no tenants were misled, no corruption was indulged in, no profits were received, a good housing policy and regulation was introduced. If ever the project sees the light of day, it would be a great day for the city.  I felt sad to leave the Federation, due to my preoccupation with the India against Corruption movement.

I have offered to discuss and explain each and every aspect of the project and its legitimacy to anyone who would like to know the truth.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mayank Jee !

Your personal integrity is beyond any doubt !

Regards !

Bibek Kumar Anand
Convener "SAMPADA"

Mahendra Chavan said...

Read the whole blog and also the article in Mumbai Mirror.

Why and what media is doing this kind of negative campaigning is not a huge secret. It is done with all members of Team Anna. They only did not dare to touch Shri Santosh Hedge as he is Rd.Judge.

Sir, be sure that this kind of techniques by Media are really not working. GOD bless our country with Jan LokPal Bill.

Anonymous said...

mayank sir,
when you do good, questions are raised. but when sombody like pc loots our country, s swamy has to apper before court just to make him a accused.. shame!! disgusting!! disappointing!! BUT this is wat u doin, working to change the system. so, be strong and do wat u r doin.. hats of to u..n thank you!!!!

Anonymous said...

sir, for the people whom u matter, there's not been an iota of a difference & for the ones whom u don't why bother ? - Pankaj Jain

Anonymous said...

What are the prospects and timelines of reviving this project? is it dead? if not, when do you expect the approvals?

Anonymous said...

Mr Mayank,

Lok Housing cheated its investors by restating the accounts and tried all kind of games to cheat the investors. I lost my money and respect for being an investor in lok housing. You were one of the directors and you too were a party to the cheat game played by the promotors of Lok housing. And here you claim to be working for the betterment of theb society. There are many people who are dying because of the bloody promotors and managements like you. Forget about saving others lives but atleast do not lead them to death by swallowing investors money.

Anonymous said...

The market capitalization of Lok Housing is just over 50 crore which cannot even buy one good apartment in Mumbai. It is shameful that such company talks about rebuilding Mumbai. Thousands of investors lost heavily due to the dirty games played by the Management of Lok Housing.

Anonymous said...

The market capitalization of Lok Housing is just over 50 crore which cannot even buy one good apartment in Mumbai. It is shameful that such company talks about rebuilding Mumbai. Thousands of investors lost heavily due to the dirty games played by the Management of Lok Housing.

Anonymous said...

mayaank is a bast***. . .darshan and sunil and all related to lok are the same . .u all will die in hell . . Today im homless all thanks to u . . . .

Anonymous said...

kya mayank . .gayab hogaya kya . .or enjoyin frm the black money u took while doin bookings at lok group

Anonymous said...

you nonsense, you fool 50 crore can't buy a good apartment in mumbai. sale haram zade,

Nagesh Rao said...

Dear Mayank,
Go Ahead & do the needful. We know that you are not personally held responsible for the acts by Lok Group, which was well known & respected those days for reasonably priced,Middle class oriented projects, construction co. During 1990's itself has constructed the Tower Style building in Chandivly,(Tower A WING)consisting of Room_kitchen & 1 BHK amidst of huge MADA Construction. These kind of Projects which were involved required a lot of political support who look into the opportunity to help people & by the time you joined slowly trends were changed & Greediness for
Money seeped in amongst Politicians & Bureaucrats they successfully blocked & stalled the project.

I understand the pain & frustration of the investors, do not take into personal & find a reason to back out from IAC. Now you know how they tricked played on you & your project so you have to play the same against these corrupt politicians & system. By knowingly or unknowingly certain mistake might have happened by you,correct your self,if it is not true just ignore & move on. Stop treating by yourself as Martyr.

See Khurshid's case If he had told in his press conference that he has no total control on his NGO, as he is busy in his other work else where, his office bearers has played mischief & over confident that nobody checks on their account & activity because of my position as Minister. People would have excused him. That s what happened, we expect from him & his Stature. Even Media has played down on his Apology to the nation.

Thanks

Dilip said...

Dear Mayank,
What you are witnessing is neither new nor the last.
Your launching yourself into this movement headlong could not have been without due thought and definitely not if you were blemished in any way since the first requirement in this fight would be the ability to challenge the corrupt with personal integrity and this will also be the only defense that would scare the corrupt away from the brink of trying to take any false judicial action or any other action to malign you all in real terms beyond the bluster and noise.
Keep up the good work, fearlessly, but be prudent and before exposing any new scams, study and research and prepare legally so that the exposed can just not survive in the political arena unless he redeems hi/her self in public.
Best wishes are with you always,
Courage, intellect,fortitude and zeal !
Nana.

Dilip said...

Parliament Secretariat must
be having email we need to send this for circulation to all MPs, if true

News :- "Important Issue! Indian government approves 200% MPs’ salary hike , Still some MP's are unhappy"
Now , MP's take home salary is Rs 45 lakh per annum + other allowances.
TOTAL expense for a MP [having no qualification] per year : Rs.60,95,000
For 534 MPs, the expense for 1 years: Rs. 325,47,30,000
3254730000 X 5 years =
Rs.1627,36, 50000( One Thousand six hundred crores
plus..??)
This is the present condition of our country: 1627 crores could make their lives livable!!
Think of the great democracy we have…Do Mp's really need salary hike? Do they really wait for 30th of every month for salary credits to their bank accounts, like
we do every month ?

Surendra Verma said...

mayank gandhi ji mujhe lagta hai ki aap ko badnam kiya ja raha hai. mujhe aap par pura biswas hai ki aap kabhi bhi galat kaam nahi karenge. mayank ji aap lagatar ladte rahiye bhrastachariyo ke khilaf. vande matram, jai hind.

अमित चौधरी said...

dirty tricks remains 'On' against, fighters. be honest and focus. people are watching...

palli said...

Sir You are a great man. Keep fighting. Just forget the rubbish seekers.

satish bali said...

From: Shiv Shankar Damani
A-2, Refinery View Chs Ltd 62/63, Maroli Church Road,Chembur,Mumbai-400074.
Subject:- Till Today No Action Taken against Illegal Managing Committee of Redevelopment Project Scam of Refinery View CHS Ltd, by Black Listed Builders of Supreme Court & BMC Mumbai. Patel Engineering Ltd , Plot no 62/63,Maroli Church R C Marg,Chembur,Mumbai-400074.

Respected Sir,
We are sending several letters Government Department & Dy Registrar-M-Ward Konkan Bhavan, CBD,Bealpur,Navi Mumbai /Addl Regsitrar Dr Khandagale, Co-op Societies Pune,/ Chief Secretary Maharashtra Government/ Urban Development & BMC department /Chief Engineer, Commissioner. Building proposal M-ward,

Till today no action taken any Government Department & Competent Authority against illegal Managing Committee & Builders.

The State Governments have framed Rules and Regulations and have issued guidelines and procedures that have to be sincerely followed In the process of Redevelopment project.
State Laws and Cooperative Laws and BMC Notification and Directives has to be followed in True spirit.
In the Redevelopment Project of Refinery View Chs Ltd 62/63, Maroli Church Road,Chembur,Mumbai-400074. All the state Laws and Co-operatives Laws and BMC Notification and Directives have been thrown to DUSTBIN by the present 7 members illegal M.C.
The present 7 members Managing Committee is Caretaker MC from 09.6.2013.
The 5 year term of this Managing Committee Expired 08.6.2013.
Till date No Election in the Society has been conducted.

There is State Government guidelines on the functioning of such MC whereby such MC cannot proceed on Redevelopment issue.
The present Managing Committee is an illegal Managing Committee officially declared as having violated sec 129 of MSC Act 1960 by Dy registrar M -Ward Konkan Bhavan and Addl Registrar Dr P Khandagale Pune from 01.5.2012.
This Managing Committee does not believe in honoring the Registrar order.
The present illegal Managing Committee signed and registered tainted and doctored and altered development Agreement on redevelopment on 10.7.2012
The present illegal Managing Committee has totally violated the terms and conditions of the signed and accepted tender documents of Supreme Court of India Blacklisted company Patel Eng ltd .
The present illegal Managing Committee has got approved the ruinous and destructive society plan on 18.01.2014 at Chembur Gymkhana.
The approval to Builder Patel Eng Ltd based on their offer as per the tender submitted by them in the presence of officer Mr..Yellary from the office of Dy Registrar M-ward was given on 7.5.2011.
The Tainted and doctored and tempered D.A was signed and registered by the present illegal MC on 10.7.2012
The ruinous and destructive Society plan was got approved on 18.01.2014 at Chembur Gymkhana.
Section 79 (A) of MSC Act 1960 has been successfully violated .
There are glaring Illegalities and Violations as detailed below.
1In the signed DA the society plot area mentioned is 4425 Sqmtrs and 4119 Sqmtrs.
In the plan passed the society plot area is reduced to 3792 Sqmtrs Shocking and surprising
2 In the signed and registered DA the members of Society Members and shareholders is 77 (seventy seven) and there are 2 (Two) Shops. Total 79 Society members.
In the plan passed on 18.01.2014 the number of Society Members and shareholders has mysteriously and suspiciously increased to 81 (Eighty one)
This 7 members illegal MC in the DA signed by them has given to the Blacklisted Builder-Irrevocable License and Irrevocable Power of attorney. In such a case what is our safety security under the state laws.
There is no provision on this issue under Sec 79 (A) of MSC Act 1960 it is violation of state laws and corporate laws

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