Demolish Adarsh society building: environment ministry

Sunday, January 16, 2011

NEW DELHI - The environment ministry Sunday ordered that the scam-hit Adarsh housing society building in Mumbai be demolished within three months for violating green norms.

The ministry in its order said the unauthorised 31-storey structure built at Block 6, Backbay Reclamation Area in Mumbai’s upscale Colaba area should be removed in its entirety and the area be restored to its original condition.

“In case, the above directions are not complied within three months from the date of receipt of this order, the ministry will be constrained to enforce this direction, and undertake action under Section 15 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986,” the order said.

The 31-storey building in Mumbai’s plush Colaba locality was originally meant to be a six-storey structure to house Kargil War heroes and their kin but was later extended to 31 floors allegedly without mandatory permission.

The environment ministry had November last year served a notice to the society, asking it why the illegal floors in the building should not be demolished.

According to the order, the ministry looked at three options - removal of the entire structure because it is unauthorised, removal of excess part of the structure and recommending government takeover of the building for public use.

The last two options were rejected as this would have been tantamount to regularizing a violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, 1991, it said.

Therefore in light of all the facts, circumstances, discussion, consideration, reasoning and analysis in the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society (ACHS) dossier, I have decided on option I (demolition), said Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.

The building became the centre of a scam that claimed the job of former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan after allegations surfaced of collusion between bureaucrats and politicians to corner flats in the building constructed on a prime plot measuring nearly 6,500 sq m in south Mumbai.

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