A senior official of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on Wednesday told the judicial commission, set up to probe allegations of illegal land acquisition by members of Adarsh housing society in Colaba, that the agency did not respond to the urban development department’s (UDD) notice calling for objections to the narrowing of Capt Prakash Pethe Marg. It has been alleged that the road was narrowed from the proposed 60 metres to 18 metres to carve out the land on which the 31-storey tower has come up.
MMRDA’s senior planner (town and country planning division) PM Yadav told the commission that the agency did not object even though it was against reduction of the road’s width. “MMRDA itself was of the view since 1994 that the width of the road be increased,” he said.
Yadav made the observation while being cross examined by commission counsel Dipan Merchant, who asked him if the MMRDA had filed objections to the notice issued by the UDD.
The MMRDA had earlier claimed that it had asked the UDD thrice to reconsider the decision. However, the UDD had said that it received no communication from the MMRDA after it issued a notice in 2001, and had thereafter directed the MMRDA to reduce the road's width from 60.97 metres to 18.92 metres in 2002.
“The MMRDA had not raised any objection on its own to the order, but only asked the UDD to reconsider the said order,” Yadav said.
The MMRDA, which is the special planning authority for the area in which Adarsh falls, had submitted a draft development plan to the UDD in 1994. Under the plan, the road running along the land on which Adarsh society came up was to be widened to 60 metres.