Members of the controversial Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society said on Tuesday that they did not “grab” defence land at Colaba.
The members said on Tuesday the plot owned by the state government and handed to them in July 2004 after payment of an amount based on the official ready reckoner rates.
Brigadier MM Wanchu, president of the society, said: “The society was never reserved for war heroes or widows. About 60% of its members are serving or retired defence officials.”
Wanchu did not clarify how a housing society like any other managed to get prime real estate in Colaba and also wrested higher floor space index.
Wanchu said the proposal for a housing complex for war widows and veterans was for the second phase. For this, the society had sought a 10,000 sq mt plot that lies largely under water. The Environment Department scuttled this plan.
Rebutting Western Naval Command chief Sanjiv Bhasin’s allegations that the building posed security risks and was cleared under pressure from influential people residing there, society promoter RC Thakur said: “There is no naval establishment near the society. It overlooks naval and Army residential facilities, as well as recreational clubs.’’
He asked why the allegations were being made so late in the day and said they smacked of a personal agenda. “The construction started in 2005, so why did the naval command wake up only in 2009? The truth is our society is built on prime real estate. There are no irregularities, but we had to say no to many people who wanted flats here.”