A year after Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society was first proposed, in a rare show of unity state and city agencies jointly approved the amalgamation of part of a road into the plot on which the society stands. This arrangement reduced the width of Captain Prakash Pethe Marg from 60.97 mt to 18.40 mt.
Initially, one part of the road was added to the plot, another to an adjoining military parade ground, another to a garden and yet another to a proposed helipad. Eventually, all these zones were merged into the plot on which the society stands.
This came to light in a Right To Information query filed by activist Yogcharya Anandji. The agencies involved, according to the reply filed by Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), were the Development Plan Department, MMRDA itself and the Urban Development Department. Devendra Desai, chief engineer of the Development Plan Department, refused to comment. Principal Secretary (Urban Development) TC Benjamin’s phone was unavailable. MMRDA officials said they would look into the matter.
Hindustan Times has a copy of the state notification dated April 10, 2002, by which the road’s modification was approved. HT also has a copy of the letter written by the Defence Estates Officer of the Mumbai Circle, dated March 30, 2000, which states that the society fell outside defence jurisdiction.
The proposal to reduce the road’s width was pushed despite the fact that defence personnel regularly use it, as do civic buses.
“Will any of these agencies explain why a proposal to narrow the road’s width was accepted?” said Anandji.