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Madhuri finally gets land in deity's abode
By Jaideep Sarin, IANS
Madhuri Dixit, once the queen of Bollywood, has formally become the owner of a 500-square yard piece of prime residential property at the Mansa Devi Temple complex near here.
Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) officials handed over possession of the property to Madhuri's elderly parents - Shankar and Sneh Lata Dixit - Wednesday evening.
Her parents deposited the money and signed the papers on her behalf to take possession of the plot in Sector 4. The HUDA staff was waiting for the actress to turn up for taking possession but only her parents came.
The property became controversial after Madhuri Dixit failed to deposit the remainder instalments towards the plot cost despite reminders from HUDA. HUDA then started the process in February to cancel her allotment.
Her mother said that Madhuri was expecting her second child and would not be coming to India in the near future.
"But whenever she comes to India, she would be visiting Mansa Devi to see her property," the woman said. The plot would cost the actress, who is married and settled at Denver in the US, just about Rs.400,000. But the market value of the plot now is over Rs.6.5 million (Rs.65 lakhs).
"If she sells the plot, it would definitely fetch a little higher price than the market because of her name being attached to the property," a local property dealer said.
Madhuri was allotted the plot by then Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal in 1996 from his discretionary quota while she was shooting in the area around Chandigarh for the film "Mohabbat" co-starring Akshaye Khanna and Sanjay Kapoor.
The actress, who was the top heroine in Mumbai's film industry at that time, had deposited Rs.63,000 through her film producer to take the allotment letter.
The actress has not even seen the area where she was allotted the plot. The property is located in picturesque surroundings of the lower Shivalik foothills. The hills of Himachal Pradesh form a perfect backdrop to the location.
When Bhajan Lal benevolently allotted the plot to her, Madhuri had stated that she was so impressed by Chandigarh and its surroundings that she would like to come and settle down here after retiring from films. She, however, got married to US-based surgeon Jayant Nene.
HUDA had sent several notices to Madhuri for the last four years to pay instalments towards the plot allotted to her. There was no response from her. It was in February that HUDA threatened to cancel her allotment if she did not pay up the remainder amount.
Madhuri then gave a special power of attorney to her parents to pay the money and take possession of the property on her behalf.