M A I N   N E W S

Show-cause notice to Adarsh
Building in blatant violation of green norms, says Ramesh
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 12
Stating that the entire Adarsh building was illegal, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh today issued a show-cause notice to the controversial cooperative housing society in posh Colaba area of Mumbai for “blatant” violation of green norms.

Asking why the “unauthortised” structure should not be demolished, Ramesh said: “The building is in clear violation of the provisions of Coastal Regulation Zone Notification 1991 as no CRZ clearance or permission was obtained by the society either from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority, the state government or the Environment Ministry.”

He, however, said the final direction would be issued only after taking into consideration the society’s reply for which it has been given a time of three weeks.

Ramesh said his ministry was not going into the ownership issue of the land for the society and was only concerned about the CRZ norms.

Though the Environment Minister refused to commit on what would be the fate of the building that cost Chief Minister Ashok Chavan his job, he said since the housing society had violated the law established by the Parliament he was ready to take strictest possible action.

Incidentally, had promoters of the society taken the proper route, they would have been granted permission only for a nine-storey building instead of a high-rise of 31 floors. On whether his ministry would now be willing to regularise the nine floors, as per the existing CRZ 1991 rules, Ramesh said he was in principal opposed to regularisation of the unauthorised structures. “It will give a very bad signal …I am not in its favour,” said the minister.

Ramesh, who divulged that the state environment department had issued a show-cause notice to Adarsh a year back in November 2009, could not give a satisfactory reply to why no action was then taken against the illegal structure.

The Defence Ministry has also recommended a CBI probe into the scam to investigate the circumstances under which a “No Objection Certificate” was issued to the society to construct the building on a piece of land, which was in the de facto possession of the Army. The probe agency will also investigate the commitments made for allotment of flats in the 104-apartment society for Kargil widows and martyrs’ families.

Names of former Army chiefs --- Deepak Kapoor and NC Vij --- and former Navy chief Madhavendra Singh figure in the list of allottees in the society that was reportedly meant for families of Kargil martyrs.


8,000 Goa buildings under gaze

Having violated CRZ-1991 regulations, as many as 8,000 buildings in picturesque tourist destination of Goa are now on the Environment Ministry’s radar. Ramesh said systematic satellite-based study of the coastal areas determined that 8,000 buildings had violated CRZ norms. “We have been told that they are homes of fishermen. We are in touch with the Goa government to establish which ones out these are five-star hotels, vacation homes and real homes of real fishermen,” he said. 





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