The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA)'s role in facilitating the controversial Adarsh society has come under the scanner again, with revelations that the agency applied different sets of rules at different times.
"The society was given commencement certificate up to plinth level after taking into consideration the draft DCR of 1989," MMRDA's senior planner Chandramani Khandare told the two-member Adarsh inquiry commission. At this, commission counsel Dipan Merchant asked how two separate DC rules were applied for giving commencement certificates to Adarsh. The first Commencement Certificate (CC) dated September 6, 2005, clearing construction up to the plinth, was issued based on the DCR 1989. All subsequent CCs were issued based on DCR 1991.
Interestingly, though the MMRDA chose to be flexible and applied various development control rules, it did not apply the stringent DCR rules of 1967, despite being asked to do so by the environment ministry. The DCR of 1967 had more stringent rules concerning the height of a building, parking space, exemption of areas used for common amenities like staircase, lift and construction of a podium.
The Adarsh housing society is being probed for misuse of authority and position by defence and government officials to secure land for the building. The society has among its members military commanders, politicians, bureaucrats and their relatives.
The Adarsh inquiry commission was set up in January to probe the scam with reference to specific issues, such as land ownership, reservation of the plot, town planning and coastal violations, and the role of public servants. The term of the commission was set to expire in January, but it managed to get an extension for six more months till August 2012.