Army officers had asked state for Adarsh plot in ’87 | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Army officers had asked state for Adarsh plot in ’87

It has now come to light that from 1987 senior officials of the armed forces had been vying for the tony Colaba plot that houses the controversial 31-storey Adarsh tower.

mumbai Updated: Dec 17, 2011 02:03 IST
Ketaki Ghoge

It has now come to light that from 1987 senior officials of the armed forces had been vying for the tony Colaba plot that houses the controversial 31-storey Adarsh tower.

Documents submitted by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to the Adarsh commission includes two letters dating to 1987 between the armed forces and state government, which could seriously challenge the armed force’s claim of owning the plot. The letters show that some senior military officials of the rank of brigadier, rear admiral and air vice marshal had then requested the state to allot this plot to them to construct a housing society for their officers.

The metropolitan commissioner of the MMRDA had objected to this proposal saying land owned by the government should be used for state priorities.

The letter written to the then chief minister SB Chavan, father of former chief minister Ashok Chavan, from the then chief of the local military authority of Colaba, brigadier DJ Mudholkar had requested the state for land in Colaba, specifically “the plot adjacent to the Backbay Depot of the BEST” to build a housing society of retired and serving Maharashtrian officers. This is where Adarsh housing society now stands. The other two officials, who have signed this letter as promoters of the proposed society are SN Lakher, rear admiral of the Naval Forces and MM Takale, air vice marshal.

The letter states that in the past, the state had allotted land for two co-operative housing societies of armed forces officials in Colaba but very few Maharashtrian officers had been accommodated in those societies.

The letter points out that these officials had met former chief secretary BG Deshmukh and pointed to him that a “suitable plot owned by the government was lying vacant adjacent to the Backbay depot of BEST.”

However, when the state government sought MMRDA’s response on the proposal, the agency had objected to it.

MMRDA commissioner in a letter dated June 17, 1987 to the Chief Secretary Office had said that “it is not desirable to delete public reservations for DP road widening in favour of a private co-operative housing society floated by Armed Forces”.