In a fresh revelation in the Adarsh housing society scam, a senior official from the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) said that the Development Control Regulation (DCR), 1991, was made applicable over the building only after it was constructed up to plinth level.
Deposing on Friday before the two-member commission appointed to the probe the scam, Pradeep Yadav, a senior planner at the MMDRA said that the agency had decided to change to DCR 1991 independently. “The draft DCR 1989 was made applicable when the first commencement certificate (CC), for construction up to plinth level, was given. Subsequently, all CCs were issued as per DCR 1991,” he said.
This shift, from DCR 1989 to DCR 1991 reportedly caused a loss of Rs55 crore to the MMRDA, which was to be recovered from the society. The authority was to charge Adarsh Rs 43 crore for lack of open space in the society, and Rs12 crore to allow it to construct a podium.
However, last week, Yadav had told the judicial commission that the Rs55 crore could not be recovered, as DCR 1991 did not cover the deficiency of open space, the provision for which was under DCR 1989.
During Friday’s deposition, Yadav further stated that the architect for the society, in a letter dated June 21, 2005, seeking permission for development, had not mentioned the DCR under which he sought permission. The MMRDA decided to apply DCR 1989 on the society.
“At the time that the application was received, draft DCR 1989 was in force,” said Yadav. “It is true that while granting initial development permissions in CRZ areas, the MMDRA was applying draft DCR 1989 in cases like Adarsh.”
The Adarsh cooperative housing society shot into the limelight last year after it was reported that houses in the 31- storeyed Cuffe Parade building, meant for Kargil heroes and war widows, had been given to politicians, bureaucrats and their families.