Describing it as an example of how a group of select and powerful elite could collude to subvert rules and regulations for personal benefit, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report on Adarsh society, has called for serious investigation into the scam.
The report indicts the government of Maharashra and its agencies like Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for actively aiding and abetting the venture by relaxing regulations and turning a blind eye to the construction of a 31-storey building in Mumbai.
“The entire episode reveals glaring examples of dereliction of duty and severe lack of probity and accountability which needs to be very seriously investigated,” the CAG has said in the report which was tabled before the state assembly on Friday.
The CAG has, however, opposed the move to demolish the controversial building, saying it is a hasty and inadequately considered suggestion. It has suggested that the building should be used for providing accommodation to Central government employees and to genuine war widows and deserving ex-servicemen.
In its report, the CAG has pointed out how the promoters sought additional floor space index for the building even before they were allotted the plot. “The promoters were so confident of allotment of land that even before registration of the society and before handing over of the site, on 12 July 2004, they wrote for additional FSI from the adjacent land in use by the BEST.”
The MMRDA, which is the planning authority for Cuffe Parade area, has been criticised in the report. “It is significant that the residential development on the land allotted to the society in CRZ-II was carried out without the requisite environmental clearance from the MoEF. Despite this, MMRDA granted Occupancy Certificate to the society on 16 September 2010.” The OC was cancelled on 30 October 2010 at the instance of MoEF when the media highlighted the Adarsh issue.
The CAG has also remarked that the number of civilians kept increasing in the Adarsh society. In 2000, the society had 40 defence personnel as its members. Two years later, there were 71 members with 38 defence personnel and 33 civilians. In 2010, the final list of 102 members included 37 from defence and 65 civilians, the report points out.
BJP legislator Devendra Fadanvis demanded a CBI inquiry into Adarsh. “The report exposes how the politicians and bureaucrats colluded to grab the land and construct the building. The government should file criminal cases against guilty,” he said.