A shameless tale of blatant violations: Panel

Dec 21 2013, 09:31 IST
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Opposition members protest against the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society scam during the last day of the winter session of the Maharashtra Assembly in Nagpur Friday.  	PTI Opposition members protest against the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society scam during the last day of the winter session of the Maharashtra Assembly in Nagpur Friday. PTI
SummaryAllotment of plot not in public interest; Adarsh would have been half its size if norms were followed

Concurring almost entirely with a Comptroller and Auditor General report on the Adarsh housing society, the Adarsh judicial commission’s report, which was laid before the legislature Friday, has ruled that the episode was a “shameless tale of blatant violations”.

In its report, the panel has listed several instances of violation and subversion of norms. This began before the land in South Mumbai was officially allotted to Adarsh, it has said.

It pointed out that the allotment of the Colaba land to the Society itself was “not in public interest”. It has pointed out that for the sole intention of allotting land to the Society, the government, in 2002, decided to reduce the width of Captain Prakash Pethe Marg, originally meant to serve as a feeder to the proposed Colaba-Uran road link to decongest traffic in South Mumbai, and earmarked the deleted portion for residential purpose to “carve out a 3,758-sq m plot for Adarsh.” Further, pointing out that the no prior notice was given to the Defence Ministry and local military authorities — the military was in possession of the land — before initiating the modification exercise, the report says this was a violation of Town Planning norms.

The Commission also concluded that the procedure adopted for modification of reservation of an adjoining 2,669-sq m plot, originally meant for a BEST depot and permitting the Society to use its FSI was not in accordance with the law. However, it has pointed out that the state was within its right to allow utilisation of the BEST FSI. Prior permission from Environment Ministry, as required, was not obtained in either case.

If rules were not subverted at the time of granting permission to the society, the panel has ruled that the height of the building would have been halved. While the 31-storey building stands at 103 m, the panel says if “proper development control (DC) regulations” were followed, it would not have crossed 47.40 m.

Concluding that the land fell in coastal regulation zone-II (CRZ-II), the panel observed that the MMRDA incorrectly applied DC regulation formulated in 1991 and draft rules framed in 1989 even as 1967 DC rules were applicable. This resulted in enhancement of FSI since staircase, lift exclusion of staircase, lift lobby and common passages were excluded from FSI computations.

The panel also said the Urban Development Department wrongly worked out the FSI by inflating the plot area. The decision to allow podium was

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