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Adarsh report sent to Centre

mumbai Updated: Nov 11, 2010 01:00 IST
Sayli Udas Mankikar
Sayli Udas Mankikar
Hindustan Times
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The state government on Wednesday sent a report on the controversial Adarsh society, the 31-storey Colaba tower that violated coastal regulatory norms, to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

Initially promoted as a society for war veterans, Adarsh has senior navy, army commanders, state bureaucrats and politicians as its members.

The environment department’s report is a compilation of reports from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Regulatory Authority and the urban development department. “We have sent the report today. It will reach them tomorrow. The final decision rests with the MoEF,” environment secretary Valsa Nair Singh told Hindustan Times on Wednesday. Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday had said that although the state environment department was clear that no environment clearances were sought from state or central ministries, action could be initiated only after reports with remarks from the urban development department are received. The MoEF is likely to scrutinise the report on Thursday.

Sources in the urban development department said the report points out floor space index (FSI) violations by the society.

In the year 2005, the department allowed Adarsh to use the FSI of an adjoining 2,669-square metre plot reserved for a BEST bus depot by de-reserving the plot sighting ‘underutilisation’ as a reason.

According to the report, Adarsh could have, like any plot in south Mumbai, used an FSI of 1.33 to build staircases, elevators and a lobby but it has used the FSI to increase its structure vertically above 30 meters, which violates coastal zone regulation norms.

The report also refers to the MCZMA’s decision taken on November 3, 2010, declaring the tower technically ‘illegal’.

It says an amendment made in 2002 made it mandatory for housing societies in CRZ II areas to be referred to the Centre for environment clearance.

It also points to another amendment in 2003, which said that all projects costing more than Rs 5 crore should be referred to the Centre.

The tower violated laws on both these counts.