Under fire for granting an occupation certificate to Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society at Colaba, which has been accused of building and environmental violations, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) officials tried to deflect the blame. It was the state government, they claimed, that instructed them to issue the certificate.
Earlier, MMRDA had claimed that the certificate was granted only after ensuring that all permissions, including that of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, were in place.
Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had written to the state, asking it to explain how the building was allowed in the Coastal Regulation Zone without environmental clearances.
A senior MMRDA official, requesting anonymity since he is not authorised to speak to the media, said: “We had a limited role in granting and approving development permissions. Since the state Urban Development Department wrote to us saying that the structure had all the sanctions, we found no reason to withhold the certificate.”
MMRDA is the planning authority for Backbay, which is why its approval was important. In 2003, MMRDA issued a commencement certificate to the society.
“Now that the building is ready, there was no reason for us to override the state on this,” said the official.