Chhagan Bhujbal's Nashik farm: authorities take possession, valuation on
Bhujbal Farm, the pride of Chhagan Bhujbal's family, is situated on the Mumbai-Agra highway near Nashik. The palatial bungalow bears testimony to the wealth of the family, with the glories of its design being talked about from Nashik to Pune to Mumbai.
But when Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) sleuths reached Bhujbal Farm to take possession of the sprawling mansion, as per court orders, they didn't have the slightest idea of what lay ahead. Bhujbal is the first political leader in the history of Maharashtra to be rendered 'homeless' in this manner.
The valuation of the property and the antique artifacts therein is proving to be a tough nut to crack for the authorities. The estimated market price of the bungalow is about Rs 100 crore.
"It has been four days and we are still struggling to ascertain the value of various artifacts in the bungalow. We have called in experts of various fields to study and fix the value, so that we should be assured about the actual market value," said a senior ACB official, who did not wish to be named.
What lies inside
The bungalow is no less than a wonderland - it is actually three bungalows on one 30,000 square metre plot
Strictly guarded from even supporters of the Bhujbals, the bungalow has always been the centre of curiosity for citizens of Nashik.
According to sources, when ED and ACB teams arrived at the bungalow, they were taken aback by the antiques, furniture and other valuables. The teams were greeted by a huge lawn, artistic lamps, sandstone pots with bonsai plants, pure teak wood furniture, and costly paintings in many rooms.
"The cost of these atrifacts might run into several crores. Since we do not have the expertise to evaluate them, technical experts from respective fields have been called in. Once they finish their job, we could have an estimate of market price of all these valuables," Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACB, Mumbai, Dnyaneshwar Awari said.
The property is surrounded by a very high compound wall and trees. The main objective of the wall and the trees is to obstruct the view from outside.
The bungalows have 25 rooms, each housing luxury furniture and expensive art. There is a swimming pool and a tennis court on the premises.
It would take around 15 days to complete valuation of these bungalows, an ACB official said. The officials anticipate that the timber, stones and even clay used for the construction of the bungalow is imported and need to be inspected by experts in civil engineering.
Bhujbal, the former deputy chief minister and PWD minister of Maharashtra, is currently lodged at Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail on charges of money laundering. The ED and ACB have attached 22 properties belonging to the Bhujbals, collectively worth several crore, following court orders.
Edited by Shreyas Sharma
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