Dapchari News | Swimming pool for cows!

675 Acres of land that was allotted under the Dapchari milk project has been sold to make way for plush homesIT'S a scenic landscape, about 140 km from the city along the Ahmedabad highway. Beneath the greenery of Dapchari village, a scam is brewing, say state officials.

Where cows should have been grazing, weekend homes dot the place. Not the aim with which the state allotted 675 acres for dairy development 35 years ago.
This came to light when State Dairy Minister Nitin Raut paid a surprise visit to Dapchari recently and found rampant illegal occupancy and construction.

Raut has told the dairy commissioner to investigate.

Dairy officials said 270 units were allotted in 1974 for dairy farming under the state's Dapchari Milk Project. Today, 109 units are occupied by original allottees while 60 have illegal occupants.

Politician's abode

RPI leader Ramdas Athavle has a bungalow here. When MiD DAY visited the house, caretaker Ranjit Goda said the leader visits the place often and that his mother-in-law stays there.

As per Dairy Department's records, the unit procured by Athavle was originally allotted to a woman, VV Vengulkar.

After her death, her widower gave it to Athavle. Locals, however, rubbished the claim that the plot was sold.

Admitting he has a house in Dapchari, Athavle told MiD DAY it originally belonged to Vengulkar.

"I am a poor man and felt like having a house. The plot is in the original allottee's name, but I have the house since a few years."

State's version

"I have instructed the dairy commissioner to investigate and submit a report within a fortnight," said State Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries Dr Nitin Raut.

Action will be taken against those found guilty, including dairy officials who allowed construction work."
"We have no documents to establish the deal [sale], but we have learnt each acre of land may have been sold for at least Rs 5 lakh," a senior dairy official at Dapchari told MiD DAY.

"This is a scam as plots cannot be transferred without government consent."

Milk shortage
The Dapchari Milk Project was launched in 1969 to cope with milk shortage in the city. As per the project, each unit holder would be given 2.5 acres for a house, a shed to accomodate 12 cows and a plot to store fodder.

Whose land is it, anyway?

The area of land in acres that was allotted to unit holders under the Dapchari Milk Project, in 1974

The number of units (of the total 270 units) that are occupied by people who are staying illegally

2.5 Acres
The area of land that each unit holder was allotted for dairy development, so that Mumbai gets enough supply of milk

original at : http://www.mid-day.com/news/2010/jun/120610-Dapchari-milk-project-675-Acres-illegally-Nitin-Raut.htm

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