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TMC MP Yusuf Pathan gets notice from Vadodara Municipal Corporation over land encroachment for his bungalow

Pawar questioned how the land could be occupied without the government's authorisation. The argument is that Yusuf Pathan continues to use the land.

Over a week after being elected as the Lok Sabha MP from West Bengal’s Baharampur on a Trinamool Congress ticket, cricketer-turned-politician Yusuf Pathan has received a notice from the BJP-ruled Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) for allegedly encroaching a civic body-owned land.

A former Bharatiya Janata Party corporator Vijay Pawar has complained that Yusuf Pathan has illegally occupied government-owned land in Vadodara. He raised the issue in writing to the Chairman of the Standing Committee, demanding that the plot of land be taken over by the corporation.

The notice sent by VMC to Yusuf Pathan on the 6th of June stated, “This is to state that the VMC had (earlier in March 2012) received a request from you to allot a land measuring 978 square metres in TP Scheme Number 22 and Final Plot Number 90. As per the process, your application was referred to the Standing Committee and thereafter to the General Board after the valuation committee decided the minimum upset value.”

“Thereafter the application was forwarded to the state government of Gujarat for approval in order to lease the land for a period of 99 years under a special case without conducting an auction. However, as per the reply received from the Urban Development Department on June 9, 2014, the request to lease the said land to you was rejected. The same had been communicated to you vide a letter… However, it has come to light that you have encroached upon the said land of the VMC and you are hereby directed to clear the encroachment at the earliest,” it added.

The matter involves a municipal corporation-owned plot near the Shubham Party plot in Tandalja, Vadodara. Yusuf Pathan decided to build a bungalow on plot number 91, which is adjacent to plot number 90 and requested the Vadodara Municipal Corporation to allot plot number 90. A proposal was prepared based on the Municipal Commissioner’s recommendation.

The proposal recommended allotting land to Yusuf Mahmud Pathan for residential purposes for Rs 57,270 per square metre without holding a public auction in special cases of security, in. addition, to granting all powers to obtain approval from the Government and grant security over the 99-year lease.

The proposal was submitted to the Municipal Standing Committee on the 30th of March in 2012 and was approved. It was subsequently submitted to the General Assembly for approval. On the 8th of June 2012, the General Assembly unanimously approved the proposal and sent it to the State Government for approval. However, on the 9th of June 2014, an official from the Urban Development and Urban Housing Department rejected the proposal. The Commissioner was told in writing that the State Government has rejected the request to allot land to cricketer Yusuf Mahmud Pathan as a special case without a public auction.

Former corporator Vijay Pawar has now filed a complaint with the standing committee chairman, claiming that the state government has given the land site in issue. Despite the rejection of the land allocation request, Pathan has walled the compound to build a garden and stables. Pawar questioned how the land could be occupied without the government’s authorisation. The argument is that Yusuf Pathan continues to use the land.

The BJP leader requested that this government land be opened up, and possession taken over by the VMC. He has called for adequate action in this case.

On Thursday (13th June), Standing Committee Chairperson Dr Sheetal Mistry informed that action can be taken against Pathan after two weeks. Mistry said that Pathan was served the notice of 6th June and given two weeks to clear the encroachment adding that two weeks is sufficient time. If the TMC leader fails to clear the encroachment on his own, then the committee will take further action. The Standing Committee Chairperson also denied allegations of the action taken in the matter being a ‘political move’. “I am not aware about the political move but this is a procedure of encroachment removal after it has come to our notice,” Mistry said.

Notably, Yusuf Pathan, who formerly played for the Indian cricket team, has recently entered politics, running for Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress from the Behrampur seat in West Bengal. In this election, he defeated Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary, Congress leader and former Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha.

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