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Lalit tried to get cheap land for IPL title sponsor

Biz association of Modi with DLF is said to have initiated with a land deal in Jaipur.

, ET Bureau|
Apr 22, 2010, 02.35 AM IST
JAIPUR: The business association of IPL commissioner Lalit Modi with IPL title sponsor DLF is said to have initiated with a land deal in Jaipur which was later aborted after hitting controversy.

Mr Modi is said to have helped the real estate company to crack a land deal with the Rajasthan government at a throw away price, in 2006. According to sources in the Jaipur Development Authority, the Vasundhara Raje government allotted DLF 45,000 sq metre land on a prime location at less than one-third of the then prevailing market rate.

“DLF proposed the state government to set up 7-star convention centre in partnership with hospitality group Hilton on the said land. The state government agency, BIDI, chaired by then chief minister Vasundhara Raje had cleared the project and allotted the land at around Rs 140 crore, passing on a monetary benefit of more than Rs 300 crore to DLF. Cost of the land that time was more than Rs 450 crore,” says a JDA official.

JDA had earmarked the said land for setting up three luxury hotels. “We were in the process of inviting competitive bids when the land was transferred to BIDI. Later, it awarded the said land to DLF without auction,” he said.

The controversial BIDI decision was later challenged in the court. The petitioner, present Advocate-General of Rajasthan, G S Bapna had questioned the transparency in the BIDI decision accusing that the allotment was made at throw away price.

“Though the litigation was dismissed by the court, I believe, the promoters back-tracked after the project hit controversy before it could take off,” Bapna said. In August 2007, a year before IPL was launched, DLF had announced to invest Rs 3,500 crore in Rajasthan. It had intended to develop convention centres, hotels and retail space and hotel management institutes in the state.

The company is said to have shelved the projects with the change of state government. “To my knowledge, DLF doesn’t have any ongoing project in Jaipur,” says JDA commissioner Sudhansh Pant. JDA’s director (Town Planning) H S Sancheti too acknowledged this fact.

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