Activists and citizens’ groups welcomed Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh’s order to demolish the controversial Adarsh Housing Society in Colaba for violating coastal regulation zone norms.
They launched a campaign on Monday sending emails people across the country, urging them to support Ramesh’s order. “Ramesh rightly ordered the demolition of the building. This is going to be landmark decision. By giving this order, he has sent out a message that CRZ violations will never be tolerated,” said GR Vora, RTI activist and member of the S-North Ward Citizens’ Federation. Fellow RTI activist, Krishnaraj Rao, said: “We have sent out SMSes and initiated a letter campaign through which we urge people to send letters to more people and authorities, so that this order is executed.”
Citizens’ groups will also send letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and the secretary to the minister for environment and forests.
Citizens’ forums, in the letter, have also requested the demolition of other illegal structures in the city that have come up without no-objection certificates or clearances. “This order will instill fear of environmental laws in the builder lobby,” said Shivaji Raut, RTI activist from Satara and member of the National Campaign for RTI.
The National Alliance of the People’s Movements also welcomed the order and expressed hope that the building will not be regularised. The letter from activists demands that a first information report be registered against those guilty of violating the laws in the Adarsh case.