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MoEF orders demolition of ‘controversial’ Adarsh Society

Bureau Report
Agence India Press

Mumbai: Convinced that the controversial Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai’s Colaba was openly flouting Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on Sunday ordered its demolition.

In this connection, the ministry today submitted its final report to the government on the Adarsh Society mentioning three options. In its report, the ministry recommended demolition of the structure in its entirety. The second option favoured the partial demolition of the illegally built 26 storeys. The third option suggests the government should take over the Adarsh Society.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has favoured the first option and recommended the complete demolition of the tainted building. In its report, MoEF mentions that the environmental norms have not been followed while constructing the 31-storey housing society.

Pertinently on December 28 last year, the ministry had accepted a request from the society and extended the last date till January 4 for receiving its response on a show-cause notice. The notice asked why its 31-storey building at defence land in Mumbai’s Colaba area should not be demolished for allegedly violating green rules.

It had also made it clear that it will be the last chance for the society to give its response. On December 27, the society had requested the ministry to postpone the hearing scheduled till December 29 citing the inordinate flight delays caused because of the “inclement weather conditions” and also due to non-availability of the counsels appearing on its behalf.

it may be recalled here that on January 8, Prithviraj Chavan Maharashtra Chief Minister had announced a two-member judicial inquiry headed by a retired High Court judge into the irregularities in the Adarsh Housing Society. The Adarsh Society was originally meant to be a six-storey structure to house Kargil War widows. However ironically the investigations later revealed that it was extended to 31 floors. Many Army officers, bureaucrats, politicians have been found possessing flats in this illegal structure.

Former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan had to resign in the wake of the controversy erupting. (AIP)

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