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 A fresh Right to Information (RTI) query has revealed that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker Hema Malini allegedly violated the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Act by destroying mangroves on a plot previously given to her at Versova, for which a notice was served to her in 1998.
The actress, however, contended that an unnecessary row was being kicked up over the matter as she had already said that she would return the land at Versova once she takes possession of the land recently alloted to her.
The actress-turned-politician is already facing heat from the opposition for securing a prime piece of land measuring 2000 square metres for her dance academy in Oshiwara at Andheri at a price of Rs. 70,000.
As per the information furnished by Mumbai Suburban Collector in response to the query filed by RTI activist Anil Galgali, Ms Malini was allotted a plot in Versova village measuring 1741.89 square metres, whose possession was handed over to her on April 4, 1997.
Subsequently, a notice was served to her by the Mumbai Suburban Collector on August 28, 1998, copy of which has been obtained by Mr Galgali.
The notice was addressed to Ms Malini, as a trustee of Natyavihar Kala Kendra Charity Trust, asking her as to why "this office" (of the suburban collector) should not tell the state government to cancel the letter of intent for the allotment as norms of the CRZ Act were violated.
According to the reply, the dance academy had made a payment of Rs. 10 lakh for acquiring the plot.The notice also mentioned that the project report signed by an architect showed the availability of 25 per cent funds for the project, but sought to know what plans the Trust had to raise the balance 75 per cent of the cost.
Citing the report submitted by the Andheri Tehsildar, the Collector also said that CRZ rules were violated by destroying the mangroves.
"The notice which demanded an explanation within 10 days, was neither responded by the Trust, nor any action was taken on it by the Collector's office," Mr Galgali said.
Rejecting the allegation, Ms Malini told PTI, "All the hullabaloo is being created unnecessarily, as I never had an intention to get two pieces of land. I had already decided to return the land previously allotted and I'm going to do it as and when I get the possession of recently allotted land."
The RTI activist said he was not opposed to land being allotted to the actress but was questioning the "favouritism" shown by the state government.
The government allotted 2,000 square metre of land to the trust with the condition that it would develop a garden on the remaining portion.
According to documents obtained under an RTI query, the actress was allotted the land at the rate of Rs. 35 per square metre which comes to Rs. 70,000 in total, when its market price could be several crores of rupees.

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