High- Rise Scam: Adarsh Housing Society The multi-crore Adarsh Housing Society scam, which involved illegal occupation of prime land in Mumbai, will be razed Adarsh Housing Society, soaring over South-Mumbai’s skyline, saw blatant violations of a number of laws and shocked the nation with the impudence of the promoters and the involvement of a number of officials from the military and politics. But now, the 31-storey building, a symbolic representation of India’s corruption, will now be demolished.
Originally meant to be a six-story structure to accommodate widows of the Kargil war, the building grew into a 31-storey building in prime Colaba area of Mumbai, with each compartment running into crores of rupees. But when the scam gathered steam and came under public scrutiny, the storm generated was such that former Maharashtra chief minister, Ashok Chavan, was compelled to resign. The environment ministry has now issued a show cause notice to the society for violating a multitude of laws.
Adarsh has time only till December 3 to respond. Post this date, the process of demolition is likely to begin, a person closely involved in the decision making matter informed the media. Under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) of the environment ministry, the building never procured any kind of clearances. In fact, CRZ clearances were not even obtained for the original proposed six-storeys. It is indeed sad and disturbing to think that the beneficiaries of the scam included a number of India’s senior former defence personnel.
Several years ago, some floors of a high-profile building named White House on Bhagwan Das road (in close proximity to the Supreme Court! ) was razed off because additional floors failed to obtain necessary clearance. But in the case of Adarsh, partial demolition is not even being considered as the whole structure was built without CRZ clearance. Members of the Adarsh Society had challenged the Bombay High Court regarding the occupancy certificate by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority. “The building is not constructed on defence land.
The picture given in the media regarding irregularity and illegality is factually incorrect,” the society’s petition states. They were soon quietened as the power and water supplies to the building were discontinued by the civic agency earlier this month. Adarsh, in all probability, will be demolished anytime after December 3, 2010. At present, it stands as a highly visible reminder of corruption among India’s elite. The destruction of Adarsh will certainly be a memorable day as this symbol of sleaze and fraud will be totally wiped off from the face of Mumbai.