In a curious land transaction, the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) in October 2014, allegedly gifted a land to a real estate company in the heart of Kochi at throwaway prices. 

 

The documents accessed by Asianet News show that the exchequer lost Rs.4 crores in the shady land deal. In October 2014, the GCDA decided to sell 46 cents of land at Kadavanthra in Kochi, a plot the authority had acquired at market price.

 

 As per the norms, the GCDA invited tenders from interested buyers. One of the three bidders was proved a fake one later. Vigilance found that the bidder had forged documents to participate in the tender process.  

 

Besides, the Local Fund Audit Department found major discrepancies in fixing the land price. While the Senior Town Planner set Rs.17 lakh per cent, the GCDA set the base price at Rs. 7.5 lakh and Abdul Rasheed, one of the bidder, won the tender at Rs.8 lakh per cent. He paid Rs.3.5 crore for the land. But just before the registration, Rasheed gave a request that the land may be registered in the name of Blue One Realtors, a real estate firm and the GCDA had no problem with it.   

 

The GCDA conveniently bypassed the rules and allowed the realtors to have the land at a very low price. Now, the deal has come under the Vigilance scanner, and the anti-corruption watchdog has filed a FIR against GCDA former Chairman N Venupoal, former secretary R Lalu, GCDA former executive member Akbar Badusha and the bidder Abdul Rasheed.