The affidavit filed by former civic chief, Jairaj Phatak, in the dock for approvals granted to the controversial Adarsh society in Colaba, could give credence to the argument by the society that it had legitimate Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) clearance from the Urban Develop-ment Department.
Phatak, in his affidavit defending the society filed before the Adarsh inquiry commission, pointed out that until April 2003 the norm was for the UDD and not the state coastal authority to grant no-objection certificates for projects in Coastal Regulatory Zone II areas.
Even post-2003, he said, the UDD had a big role to play in clearing such cases and there was also a precedent of attaching Floor Space Index of adjoining plots.
One of the main allegations against Adarsh is that it got the benefit of additional FSI after the adjoining BEST depot plot was de-reserved.
This move has been seen as violating town planning as well as environmental norms. But, now information shows that UDD granted similar permissions to other projects in the past.
Phatak has even enclosed extracts of minutes of two Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) meetings in October 2003 and October 2007 to bolster his arguments.