Maharashtra politicos cheer Adarsh demolition order

Sunday, January 16, 2011

MUMBAI - Welcoming the environment ministry’s order to demolish the Adarsh housing society building within three months, politicians in Maharashtra said this was the only option for the scam-hit project.

Shiv Sena legislator Subhash Desai said: “We welcome the decision of MoEF (ministry of environment and forests) and Jairam Ramesh. But I am concerned if the order will really be followed.

“Also, now that there is some action on the demolition of the society, we expect that action is also taken against those responsible for the scam.”

Activist Medha Patkar, whose NGO is one of the petitioners against the construction of the Adarsh society building, said the episode should spur changes in land laws.

“The Adarsh scam has once again exposed the corrupt nexus that is operating in Mumbai. It is expected that along with the demolition of the illegal constructions, laws and rules related to land allotment and building by-laws will also be amended to make them more powerful,” Patkar said.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said that there were several other buildings that had flouted the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) violations.

“Now that the MoEF has taken a note of this tower of deceit, the ministry should also look into several other buildings across the city that have flouted the CRZ norms,” Bhandari said.

The 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 permissions.

The environment ministry Sunday ordered that the scam-hit housing society building be demolished within three months for CRZ violations.

The ministry, in its 29-page order, concluded that the 31-storey structure built at Block 6, Backbay Reclamation Area in Mumbai’s upscale Colaba area, is “unauthorised” and should be removed in its entirety and the area be restored to its original condition.

The society, however, said it would challenge the order in court.

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