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MoEF orders demolition of Adarsh Society building

New Delhi, Jan 16 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS) The pro-active Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on Sunday ordered the demolition of the Adarsh Society building in Mumbai, a tower of controversy over illegal allotments of apartments meant for Kargil heroes’ families, as the building did not have the necessary green clearance.

Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh passed the order supporting the demolition of the building saying the building is unauthorized, saying that Adarsh simply cannot be condoned.

“The said unauthorized structure (the Adarsh Society building)…..should be removed in entirety and the area restored forthwith,” the final MoEF order, prepared on January 13, read.

The MoEF report said that three options were available – removal of the entire structure since it is unauthorized and has no clearance under the Costal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 1991, or removal of the part in excess had the clearances been obtained, or recommend government takeover of the building for public use.

The last two options were rejected as it could ‘tantamount to regularizing or condoning’ and erroneous structure, the report added.

The building had faced the wrath of his ministry for unauthorized floor constructions.

The 31-storey housing society in Mumbai’s upscale Colaba is in the eye of a major scam that sucked into it defence personnel, bureaucrats and politicians, including former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan.

Media probes found a nexus between ministers, their kins, and even army officials that led to occupation of flats by higher ups who were otherwise not entitled to it.

Meanwhile, political and other reactions from activists poured in with the environment ministry.

“We welcome the decision and there should be no stay on the demolition,” said  RTI petitioner in the Adarsh scam Simpreet Singh.

Another activist YP Singh said while the report is welcome, action should be taken against similar constructions all over Mumbai.

The ruling Congress tried to score a political brownie point saying the party is not tolerating corruption and taking action as reflected in the report.

“Can you show one example of the BJP ruled states where a chief minister has resigned over a scam,” said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

The BJP on the other hand slammed Congress again, but welcomed the report.
“The structure should be immediately demolished. In other cases perhaps the offender would have been behind bar by now,” said BJP national spokesperson Kirit Somaiya.

He said an inquiry should be ordered against Vilasrao Deshmukh for clearing the land in his tenure as chief minister of Maharashtra.

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