Maharashtra government seals Hyderabad Nizam\'s property at Mahabaleshwar

Mumbai: A large swathe of land and a bungalow worth Rs 250 crore, which was leased to the then Nizam of Hyderabad at the hill station of Mahabaleshwar in Satara district of Maharashtra was sealed by the state government on Sunday.

According to state officials, a 15-acre 15-gunta plot of land and Woodland, a luxurious bungalow on it, were sealed on the orders of Satara collector Ruchesh Jayvanshi. A large police force was deployed during the action.

Jayvanshi told this newspaper, “There have been frequent disputes between two parties regarding the possession of this government property, due to which a law and order situation used to arise. On December 1, a mob of people, claiming to be from the Nizam’s side, tried to take possession of the property forcibly. Hence, to put an end to the dispute, it was decided to seal the property. Accordingly, the main bungalow and surrounding land were seized.”

People living in the staff quarters next to the main bungalow were asked to leave the premises. After that, all the rooms of the main bungalow and staff quarters were sealed. No outsiders were allowed to enter the area.

According to Jayvanshi, the plot was leased to a Parsi lawyer during British rule. After Independence, it was allotted to Nawab Mir Osman Alli Khan Bahadur, The Nizam of Hyderabad, in 1952. As he had huge arrears of income-tax, they were recorded against the property for recovery of a sum amounting to Rs 59,47,797 and sale, mortgaging and any kind of transaction was prohibited till the recovery was made.

Mir Barkat Ali Khan was named as the successor of the Nizam. In 2003, the property was submitted back to the government by omitting the names of all the lessees as per the collector’s order.

In 2005, the order was withdrawn and the situation was restored as before. In 2006, the property was transferred in the name of Dilip Thakkar. Since then, the property has been mired in controversy with frequent disputes between Thakkar and the Nizam’s successor over the revenue and possession of the property.

There have been repeated attempts from both the parties to take possession of the property, said the state officials. “The property now stands sealed and a decision about its further disposal will be taken soon,” said Jayvanshi.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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