The state government has supported the claim made by the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) that the 31-storey Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society at Colaba was constructed without obtaining mandatory environmental clearance.
In an affidavit filed before the Bombay high court, Sanjay Kurvey, deputy director of Town Planning for Greater Mumbai, has stated that the urban development department (UDD) could not have granted the No Objection Certificate (NOC) to the society, as it was not competent authority.
The controversial society has maintained that it had all necessary permissions and sanction for construction of its high-rise building, and one of those included a NOC issued by the UDD on March 15, 2003.
Kurvey has, however, stated that the housing society has misconstrued and misinterpreted the communication from UDD.
In his affidavit, Kurvey said, “The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) constituted by the MoEF on January 4, 2002, was the appropriate body for granting the sanction for construction on the plot at Cuffe Parade.” A deputy secretary, who forwarded the letter dated March 15, 2003, had incorrectly informed the chief engineer, development plan, civic body, that the MoEF had issued an ‘NOC’, his affidavit said.
The state government has also echoed the claims of MoEF that the society was well aware that it needed a clearance from MoEF. The housing society continued to insist that its building cannot be demolished for not having the sanction of the MCZMA because it had the sanction of the MoEF, which constituted the former.