Former Mumbai collector Pradeep Vyas accepted before the Adarsh inquiry commission that he had never brought to the government’s notice the security implications of a residential high-rise like Adarsh dominating the entire navy and army area.
He also claimed that he did not bring to the government’s notice a letter by the Ministry of Defence that referred to the existence of an Eco Park named Khukri Park on the contentious piece of land. The Defence Estates Officer had written a letter dated June 16, 2003 to Vyas who was the then collector.
“A multi-storeyed high-rise of private individuals in that plot would dominate the entire Army and Navy area and other sensitive installations like TIFR. Sustainability of a private owned high-rise may invite security implications in the long run,” the letter said. When showed this evidence, Vyas said, “I marked the letters to the city superintendent of Land Records, who marked it to the revenue branch.
The revenue branch initiated the noting. But as this noting was not put up before the collector, the reply could not be sent to the government.”
Vyas also claimed that he did not attend the meeting called by the minister of state for urban development Sunil Tatkare in 2003 over the Adarsh land allotment. Vyas claimed he had deputed a representative to attend the meet. “I did not try to find out from my representative for what the meeting had been called,” Vyas told commission counsel Dipan Merchant. Vyas also said he was asked to undertake an inquiry by the Jt secretary revenue and forest department Ramakant Asmar in August 2003 to file an unambiguous report regarding the title of the disputed land.
However, Vyas did not clarify on the title of the land. When probed about trying to find out title of the land by the counsel, Vyas said even after getting land record files from the commissioner Konkan division he did not send the reply to the government.