Bureaucrats kept Adarsh info from me: Deshmukh | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Bureaucrats kept Adarsh info from me: Deshmukh

On the second day of his deposition before the Adarsh inquiry panel, former chief Deshmukh on Wednesday reiterated that state bureaucrats did not inform him about irregularities concerning the 31-storey housing society in Colaba, including the need to obtain environmental clearances.

mumbai Updated: Jun 28, 2012 01:18 IST
Zeeshan Shaikh

On the second day of his deposition before the Adarsh inquiry panel, former chief Deshmukh on Wednesday reiterated that state bureaucrats did not inform him about irregularities concerning the 31-storey housing society in Colaba, including the need to obtain environmental clearances.

Deshmukh claimed that when he had forwarded the application of Adarsh society to the revenue secretary in 2004, he was under the assumption that it was to be a society of military officers.

The Union minister passed the blame onto the members of Adarsh society claiming that they did not tell him about the actual composition of members. “I was not made aware that Adarsh was not going to be a society of servicemen and ex-servicemen, but was going to include civilians as well,” he said.

Deshmukh said that the decision to de-reserve the BEST plot and convert it into residential use, which allegedly helped the society build more floors, was approved by him, but the order had come from the revenue and forest department. “This decision was taken by the department, and I went by their recommendation,” he said.

Deshmukh’s indictment of the bureaucracy came to the fore when he was asked about whether it was necessary to obtain coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearance for changing the reservation of Prakash Pehte Marg and reducing its width.

“So far as environmental clearance was concerned, nobody advised me on the issue. I was not advised on the proposed reduction of the road’s width.

Nobody also advised me on whether MoEF [Union environment ministry] clearance was required for conversion of reservation,” Deshmukh said. He said that Ganesh Naik was the environment minister at the time.