It is now the turn of government authorities to pass on the buck when it comes to granting clearances for the controversial Adarsh society.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which filed its affidavit before the two member Adarsh commission has defended its role saying it went by the rule book while granting clearances such as commencement certificate, occupation certificate to the society. It also said it had sought clarifications from the Urban Development Department (UDD) over issues such as height of the building, Floor Space Index sops and reducing width of the Captain Prakash Pethe Marg.
The MMRDA affidavit has thus inadvertently backed the society and blamed the UDD. It is on the lines of the earlier affidavit it had filed before the high court, which HT had reported on in January. For instance, the authority has said it wrote three letters to the UDD to reconsider its decision to reduce the proposed width of the Captain Prakash Pethe Marg.
The affidavit states that Maharashtra State Road development Corporation had written to it to amend the sanctioned development plan to incorporate the proposed alignment of the Bandra-Nariman Point sea link to Uran. The UDD had overruled MMRDA’s request and reduced the proposed width of the road.
The authority has said that before granting commencement certificate to the society, it had sought clarification from the UDD in 2005 about the height of the building, which was proposed at 93.80m instead of the permissible 42m.
Speed up Adarsh scam probe : HC
The Bombay high court, on Wednesday, expressed displeasure over the slow-paced investigation into the alleged scam surrounding the Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society at Colaba. “Speed up the investigation, otherwise its very purpose would be lost,” a division bench of justice Ranjana Desai and justice RV More observed while referring to new articles which revealed that a few Adarsh-related papers have now gone missing from the defence establishment in Mumbai.
The court was hearing public interest litigations filed by social activists Simpreet Singh and Pravin Wategaonkar. Additional solicitor general Darius Khambata submitted a report indicating the progress in the Central Bureau of investigation (CBI) probe.
After going through the report, the judges told the CBI that it should summon “vital persons” to the case and record their statements before the next hearing on July 20. Khambata tried to reassure the court, saying CBI officers have interviewed nearly 70 witnesses so far and the probe is headed in the right direction.
But, the disgruntled judges said the CBI needs to draw some firm conclusions in the case.