There is more trouble for the promoters of Adarsh Housing Society.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) all its correspondence with the housing society over the issue of transplantation of trees.
The Hindustan Times had reported how the United Services Club led by top defence officials in 2005 had written to the civic body, offering to transplant 134 trees from the plot where Adarsh Housing Society was built. This offer from the Club helped the society get a clearance from the Tree Authority, which issued permissions to transplant 78 trees.
The US Club said there was no record of such a letter.
The mystery over the trees continues as the promoters of Adarsh society later refused to disclose the location where the trees had been transplanted, claiming that it was a ‘strategically sensitive location’. A senior civic official, not wishing to be named, said: “The CBI wrote to us, asking us about the status of the trees that were to be transplanted and also its age, when we had recorded it while they stood at the then Khukri park.”
Deputy municipal commissioner (Gardens) Chandrashekhar Rokde said: “We’ve submitted all correspondence with the society to the CBI. This includes how the society continues to refuse to show the spot where the trees have been transplanted as well as our notice issued to them.”
The civic body has been pursuing the promoters of Adarsh society for flouting norms and getting away with hacking trees. “We’ve sent them a notice to show us the spot where the trees exist. If they don't, then we’ll prosecute them under the Maharashtra Tree Act, 1975,” said Rokade.
Secretary of the society and chief promoter RC Thakur said, “We have planted 250 trees, each one of them above 11 feet and BMC had taken deposits of about Rs 10 lakh for plantation of trees in lieu of trees not survived (sic) because of replantation (sic). This is as per BMC rule.”