Former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer turned lawyer YP Singh alleged on Tuesday that the state Urban Development Department (UDD) changed the reservation of a plot meant for a bus depot through a notification on March 3, 2006, to transfer its floor space index (FSI) to the adjoining plot on which Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society was built. FSI is the norm that governs how high a structure can go.
This was done, he said, so that additional storeys could be added to the building in which most of the flats are owned by politicians, bureaucrats and Army and Navy commanders.
Singh, who filed a public interest litigation against the allotment of land to Adarsh, made the allegation at a press conference along with Right To Information activists Krishnaraj Rao and Vijay Chavan.
Singh alleged that the FSI was transferred by misinterpreting a letter written by then Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) general manager Swadheen Kshatriya, which stated that the BEST needed at least a 44.40-mt-wide road as an approach for its Backbay depot. Singh alleged that Ramanand Tiwari, then principal secretary of the UDD and present Information Commissioner, treated the letter as a no-objection certificate instead, as if the BEST was stating that it did not require the plot.
Singh said the UDD issued a notification deleting the plot’s reservation and transferring its FSI to Adarsh on the basis of this letter. Tiwari’s son Onkar owns a flat in the society. Tiwari did not respond to calls made by Hindustan Times.
Singh said the plot was meant to widen Prakash Pethe Marg to 60 mt. He added that the Development Plan was altered and the proposed width of the road was reduced to 18 mt. The society found the plot inadequate and sought allotment of the adjoining plot, which was reserved for a BEST depot.