Thursday, July 13, 2017

RTI activist shows Rs 40 lakh bribe given to him by builder

DNA: Mumbai: Thursday, July 13, 2017.
Sandeep Yeole, an RTI activist, has alleged that he was paid a bribe by Omkar Realtors to not pursue an alleged scam in an Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) scheme project in Vikhroli. The activist presented a bundle of fresh notes in front of the media claiming the amount to be Rs 40 lakh. But the builder has claimed that the money given is accounted for advance rental for 88 slum dwellers and that it’s not bribe.
Yeole claims that he has been gathering information regarding the SRA project at the Parksite area of Vikhroli for a long time and alleged that there’s a scam in it involving the developer. “The builder, in order keep me tight-lipped, bribed me, and I have in front of you the cash given to me. I was given a bribe of Rs 1 crore, of which we have spent Rs 60 lakh in order to expose the scam and have all the proof for the same. Today I have got Rs 40 lakh to show the public how builders manage everything.”
Meanwhile, Omkar Realtors have come out with a clarification claiming that the amount isn’t a bribe. An email sent by the realtors read: “Omkar Realtors would like to emphatically state that an amount of Rs 40 lakh was paid to Sandeep Yeole, a local activist, in regards to the redevelopment project at Parksite, Vikhroli, as advance rental disbursal amount for 88 slum tenants. In SRA projects, a small fraction of slum tenants are paid out their rental advance in cash whereby they don’t have bank accounts.
The said amount, which is completely accounted for, was paid as advance rents for 88 slum tenants who planned to shift immediately during the monsoon. Yeole had been opposing and misleading some of the constituents on the false prospect of the project being redeveloped under Self Redevelopment. The defamatory attempt by Yeole to present twisted facts to the media is purely a matter of pressure tactic for ulterior motives and his failure to influence the overall slum community from going in for Self Redevelopment.”