Days after senior politicians such as deputy CM Ajit Pawar and BJP leader Gopinath Munde were served notices for making illegal modifications to their shops in the twin residential towers in Worli, it has come to light that a public garden was de-reserved so that the number of floors of these societies could be increased.
Documents with HT show that the state government bent rules in 2002 and agreed to de-reserve a plot meant for a garden and transfer its floor space index (FSI) to a residential zone, which allowed the two buildings, Sukhada and Shubdha, to be constructed with more floors and flats.
The de-reservation of this open space is comparable to the de-reservation of a BEST bus depot plot for the scam-tainted Adarsh society at Cuffe Parade, which allowed the society to use the FSI from the plot to rise higher.
The notification said the FSI of the open space in Worli could be used by the “adjoining residential plots” whenever they came up for development.
The two societies gained nearly one-third of their current built-up area thanks to this notification.
While Sukhada building is 14-storeyed, Shubdha has 32 floors.
Experts said the de-reservation of the garden plot and the transfer of its FSI was illegal on many counts.
“This case is worse than the Adarsh housing society case,” said lawyer YP Singh.
“This garden plot was in a CRZ-III area, where as per rules, no FSI could be derived from a garden plot. It is like keeping Shivaji Park as an open space, but giving its FSI to the neighbouring plots,” said Singh, who along with activist Amit Maru, has been instrumental in exposing the irregularities related to these two societies.
Former state Congress chief Ranjit Deshmukh, chairman of Shubhda, said: “The open space was lying unmaintained so we requested the collector to grant us the land. We promised that we would not build on it and only use its FSI.”