Nagpur: After losing 8,000sqft land to a private person three years ago, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has lost gym equipments worth nearly Rs8 lakh from the disputed property at Jalalpura, Mahal, in Central Nagpur.
Though the civic body has lodged a complaint with Kotwali police alleging theft on May 18, an offence is yet to be registered. Municipal commissioner Radhakrishnan B has also ordered inquiry as to how works of around Rs28 lakh were carried out on the property despite the dispute over ownership.
NMC officials told TOI, “A team of sports department visited the gym on May 17 and found all machineries worth Rs7.90 lakh missing. A complaint was lodged with Kotwali police.”
“The NMC ran a school on the land for over three decades. The school was shut due to lack of students. A compound wall and gym was constructed on the land by the NMC in 2010-11. Equipments were purchased and kept in the gym, which was reportedly closed after running for a few months,” said the officials.
One Ravindra Ramlal Satbhaiyya, a resident of Mahal, had filed a case in district court claiming land ownership in 2015. Despite the matter being sub judice, the NMC constructed a skating rink there by spending Rs20 lakh in 2018.
The NMC, collector office and city survey office failed to produce documents in the court proving the land was owned by the government.
“The district court on August 14, 2018, declared Satbhaiyya as the land owner. The court directed the NMC and collector office to demolish compound wall, vacate and hand over the possession of land to Satbhaiyya family. Since then, the land was in possession of this family,” said the officials.
The NMC filed an appeal only after BJP’s Dayashankar Tiwari raised the issue in 2019.
“There were two keys of the gym — one was with the NMC and the other with Satbhaiyyas. As the NMC had filed an appeal, gym machineries were not removed,” they said.
“The NMC team found the gym equipments missing last months, though the lock was intact,” said officials.
Kotwali police station PI Dnyaneshwar Bhosle said Satbhaiyya family had got the possession of the land as per court order. “Concerned person in his statement claimed that NMC officials had taken away all equipments,” said Bhosle. As the matter is sub judice, we did not register offence and are investigating further, he said.
After theft of gym equipments, NMC deputy commissioner Milind Meshram reportedly came to know about the case. He has submitted a proposal with the civic chief for an inquiry into the expenditure of Rs28 lakh on the land for gym and skating rink despite the property being disputed one.
Meshram is likely to direct PWD superintending engineer to conduct an inquiry and submit the report.
In a nutshell
* NMC used to run a school on land in Jalalpura for over three decades
* School was shut due to lack of students
* NMC constructed a compound wall and gym in 2010-11
* Equipments worth Rs8 lakh were purchased and kept in the gym
* Gym was closed after running for a few months
* Ravindra Satbhaiyya filed a case in district court claiming ownership in 2015
* NMC spent Rs20 lakh on constructing a skating rink in 2018
* Court upheld ownership claim of Satbhaiyya, who took possession of the land in 2018
* NMC did not remove gym machineries as it had filed an appeal
* Equipment found missing last month, police complaint lodged
* Probe ordered into Rs28 lakh expenditure despite dispute over the property