In a development that could spell trouble for Union rural development minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Maharashtra’s urban development department (UDD) has admitted for the first time that one of its decision regarding the controversial Adarsh tower was not correct.
In its affidavit filed before the two-member Adarsh inquiry commission, the UDD has admitted that “proper procedure” was not followed by the government while deleting reservation of a BEST depot plot and converting it into a residential one for the benefit of the tower. Deshmukh was CM and UDD minister when this decision was taken.
The 2,669.68 sq-metre BEST plot was deleted through a notification in 2006, under Section 50 of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, 1966, instead of following Section 37. Under Section 37, the state would have had to seek suggestions, objections from the public (including the Armed forces in this case) before deleting the reservation.
The affidavit says the decision was based on a letter from BEST, wrongfully treated as a request to delete the plot by the UDD.
What could add to Deshmukh’s troubles is that former UDD secretary Ramanand Tiwari in his affidavit specifically mentioned that the 2006 notification was issued after the approval of the chief minister.