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Adarsh added 8 illegal beams

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has found that the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society illegally installed 8 cantilevers (beams) on the building after converting refuge areas into residential flats.

mumbai Updated: Feb 05, 2011 01:04 IST
Manish Pachouly

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has found that the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society illegally installed 8 cantilevers (beams) on the building after converting refuge areas into residential flats.

This is in violation of fire safety norms. In the course of its investigation into irregularities in the building, the CBI found that the society converted the refuge areas situated on the sixth, 13th and 20th floors into flats.

A refuge floor is a protected floor that serves as a refuge for occupants of the building to temporarily assemble and rest in case of emergency evacuation. Officers said that with the number of those to be given flats increasing, it was difficult to accommodate all in 31 floors. “A need to increase the floors of the building to 33 arose, but it was not possible to arrange clearances for them,” an officer said requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media. He added that it was subsequently decided to convert the refuge areas into flats.

To show that fire safety norms were met, the society installed 8 cantilevers on the outer portion of the building.

The CBI found that this was in violation of the Development Control Rule 1991. “As per the rule, only one cantilever can be installed in a building at a height of 24 feet,” the officer said.

The CBI also found that the fire brigade gave a no objection certificate (NOC) for the cantilevers in 2009 on condition that they were approved by the High Rise Committee. But, the CBI probe showed that former civic chief Jairaj Phatak gave a clearance for cantilevers using his special powers as civic commissioner.

Meanwhile, on Friday, former deputy secretary of the urban development department (UDD), PV Deshmukh failed to appear before the CBI for the second consecutive day.

Deshmukh was, on Thursday, summoned to CBI’s Colaba office along with Adarsh chief promoters RC Thakur and Kanhaiyalal Gidwani and MM Wanchoo. They have been called in again on Saturday.

Joint director of CBI, Mumbai Zone-1, Rishi Raj Singh confirmed that the three were questioned. The CBI would decide on a further course of action on Deshmukh soon.