Date: 5/28/2004


..........Revealed: Rahul Gandhi's Mumbai millions

An obscure engineering company with a near-invisible office on Arthur Bunder Road in Colaba has bagged some of the biggest and most prestigious building projects in Mumbai.

Backops Engineering, which provides civil engineering services for architectural, civil engineering and construction companies, has secured plum projects like the city's international airport terminal building, the commercial complex at Phoenix Mills, Belapur railwaystation, the Wockhardt Hospital in Mulund, and buildings at the Osho Commune, Pune.

The list includes many other sought-after projects and some overseas assignments too.

The impressive line-up may have a lot to do with the fact that Rahul Gandhi, now MP from Amethi, owns 83 per cent of the company's shares.

In his affidavit submitted at the time of filing his nomination for the Lok Sabha elections from Amethi, Rahul Gandhi noted that he owned 83 per cent of the shares in the firm. The affidavit also mentioned that the property of Backops Ltd was part of his movable assets.

Gandhi has informed that he has capital investment of Rs 2,50,000 in the firm, which has a bank balance of Rs 3 lakh.

The office of Backups is in Puran Nivas on Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba. But it is so nondescript, even the watchman of the building doesn't know it exists.

What the watchman does know, however, is that the office of 'Rajani Associate' is on the fourth floor and that one could check there. The glass door of Rajani Associate reveals a huge name stamped on the walls inside: Backops Engineering.

Asked if Rahul Gandhi owns the company, a female employee there merely said, "I don't know."

Projects that Backops has got:

1. International Airport building, Mumbai

2. Belapur railway station

3. Container Freight Station for Maersk Sealan

4. Logistics Facility, United Liner Agencies, Nhava Sheva

5. Commerical Complex at Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel

6. Ashoka Shopping Centre, Mumbai

7. Training Centres for Reserve Bank of India

8. Headquarters for Wockhardt

9. Wockhardt Hospital, Mulund, Mumbai

10. ONCB/PNCB plant at Tarapur

11. Industrial complex for NRB Bearings, Aurangabad

12. Coromandel Fertilisers, Cuddapah

13. Township for IPCL, Nagothane

14. Institutional facilities for Ministry of Education, Oman

15. Industrial Training Institute, Mazagaon

16. The Oberoi Amar Vilas, Agra

17. Hyatt Regency, Kathmandu, Nepal

18. Meditation Hall and Guest House for Osho Commune, Pune

Mid Day, Mumbai