We sought more land, but didn’t need it: Gidwani | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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We sought more land, but didn’t need it: Gidwani

Despite having enough land to accommodate approved members, promoters of the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society tried to procure more land and additional Floor Space Index (FSI) from the state government.

mumbai Updated: Aug 26, 2011 00:32 IST
HT Correspondent

Despite having enough land to accommodate approved members, promoters of the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society tried to procure more land and additional Floor Space Index (FSI) from the state government.

Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, Congress leader and one of the chief promoters of the society, in his cross examination by commission counsel Dipan Merchant, accepted that there was no need for the society to seek allotment of additional land, at the time that it had done so, in 2004.

Gidwani has been deposing before the Adarsh Inquiry Commission, set up to probe the Adarsh scam, since August 16.

The society was handed over a letter of intent for the Cuffe Parade land on which it stands, in 2003. When the land was allotted to it, in 2004, the society had 20 government-approved members.

However, in March 2003, the society had applied for allotment of more land at Colaba,next to the Oyster and Dolphin buildings. The society made a similar application for this piece of land in August 2004 as well.

"The land allotted to the society in 2004, was sufficient to accommodate the 20 approved members. At that time, there was no need for the society to seek allotment of additional land," Gidwani said. He further said that in August 2004, there was no need to seek additional FSI from the adjoining BEST plot as well.

In March 2003, Gidwani had written a letter to then chief minister Sushil Kumar Shine, seeking extra FSI for the society. The request was turned down in January 2004 by Sunil Tatkare, then minister of state for Urban Development, as the land was reserved for the BEST depot and the grant of additional FSI was not permitted under the 1991 Development Control rules.

Gidwani also said that the then Principal Secretary, Ramanand Tiwari, had said that it was not feasible to allot the FSI of the reserved land to the society, though the society was willing to pay the cost of the land to the state.

"He said that the society will have to approach the state government for allotment of the land, by deleting the reservation of the BEST Bus Depot, following due process of law," Gidwani said.