Navy plea for background checks was ignored | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Navy plea for background checks was ignored

mumbai Updated: Oct 30, 2010 01:23 IST
Kunal Purohit

It’s not just that Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society could be a security risk since it overlooks several defence establishments, the Navy has another grouse against the 31-storey tower. On June 25, a senior naval officer wrote to the Mumbai Metropolitan region Development Authority (MMRDA) asking it to check the records of the society’s members before granting an occupation certificate.

In its reply, MMRDA, however, simply reproduced what the society members had to say for themselves and dismissed the matter.

Hindustan Times reported on Friday that Commodore Satish Bajaj, Chief Staff Officer (P&A) for Flag officer Commanding-in-Chief, had asked for details of the society members to ensure that no anti-social elements got flats there.

The MMRDA in its reply quoted the society members talking highly about themselves. The society dismissed the Navy’s request and concluded the letter by saying, “In light of the above, any further verification of antecedents of members by the Navy appears to be overstepping the right of propriety vested in the Government of Maharashtra and Collector of Mumbai city, who have verified and approved the names.”

Quoting this letter, MMRDA, on September 29, also dismissed the Navy’s request and said: “In view of above, it is felt that after completion of the building, basic issues may not be raised.”

Senior MMRDA officials, however, claimed there was nothing wrong in their reply. “Our stand has been that these security issues should have been raised by the Navy earlier, not after the building was completed. Since the state government had cleared the names of all members, we didn’t find it necessary to withhold the occupation certificate for the Navy to verify the list again.”

In his letter, Bajaj mentioned that despite repeated efforts Adarsh failed to provide information about its members. “You were also intimated that all efforts to procure the requisite information from the Deputy Registrar, the [civic] A Ward, Registrar of Societies, and also from the housing society itself, failed as none of them forwarded the desired information as per the format forwarded to them,” Bajaj wrote.