The Maharashtra government on Wednesday confirmed that the 31-storey Adarsh society in Colaba, embroiled in a political maelstrom, has violated coastal regulatory norms and is “illegal”.
The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) came to this conclusion after a meeting on Wednesday where all relevant documents were scrutinised.
The matter will now be forwarded to the Union ministry of environment and forest (MOEF) for further action; the report will be sent next week.
“It’s the first time that the issue of CRZ [Coastal Regulatory Zone] violation was brought before MCZMA,” said Valsa Nair Singh, state environment secretary and chairman of MCZMA.
The decision was taken after considering the society’s argument that it had valid environmental clearance. In a letter to MCZMA, the society said the state had power to clear construction in CRZ II areas as per a letter from the MoEF dated March 11, 2003. However, last week, the ministry had said that the letter was only clarification to queries and not an approval.
“The CRZ notification is clear. A 2002 amendment made it mandatory that all housing societies in CRZ II areas be referred to the Centre. A 2003 amendment said all projects over Rs 5 crore should be referred to the Centre. The tower violated law on both counts,” said an MCZMA member, requesting anonymity.