Adarsh land belongs to Maha govt: Army inquiry rpt

An army inquiry has indicated the land on which the Adarsh Housing Society stands belonged to the Maharashtra government, a judicial panel has been informed.

Mumbai: An army inquiry has indicated the
land on which the Adarsh Housing Society stands belonged to
the Maharashtra government although defence authorities were
in possession of the plot before handing it over to the
society, a judicial panel has been informed.
An inquiry report was submitted by the army officials
to the two-member Adarsh Commission of Inquiry last week, a
copy of which was made available today.

The Chief of Army Staff had ordered an independent
inquiry as various reports were appearing in the media that
were "maligning" its image. The inquiry officer had even
visited Mumbai`s city survey and land record department and
got various details including the property cards.

According to the report, the status of Adarsh land at
Colaba is related to land reclamation at the area, and in 1796
island of Colaba was declared as military area and entry of
civilian population was prohibited.

It said that in 1860 Backbay Reclamation Company was
formed to reclaim the whole of Backbay. The company in 1926
reclaimed 439.6 acres of land out of which 234.8 were
purchased by the military.

The report said that in 1956 the state government had
proposed transfer of 41.8 acres of defence land at Santacruz
for (construction) of Western Express Highway and for
rehabilitation of slums. In exchange the government agreed to
give land at Block VI of Bombay Government Land to the
However valuation of land never reached its logical
conclusion, it said.

As per the report, suddenly in the year 1964, the
collector of Mumbai conveyed that the Maharashtra government
had decided not to transfer land at Block VI to defence
authorities. Thereafter, through correspondence, it was said
that Block VI does not belong to defence authorities.

It said the defence authorities were looking after the
plot so as to keep it encroachment free and therefore before
it was handed over to Adarsh, it was in their possession.

The report further said that between October 31, 2005
and November 24, 2005 few letters were written by defence
authorities to the Adarsh Society and the collector of Mumbai.

Letters to the society pertained to uprooting trees
from the land and replanting them on defence land without
sanction of Defence Estate Officer (DEO). The letters stated
that it was offence and trespass and why FIR should not be
lodged against then (society), it said.

The letter to the collector of Mumbai pertained to
security and it stated that construction of high-rise by
Adarsh society had security implications and that the list of
office bearers and members of society be provided for
necessary verification by army, it said.

There was also correspondence among DEO, army
headquarters and collector`s office wherein the DEO had
objected to the NOC and had even informed the army
headquarters of loss of army interests.

"Adarsh Society responded by stating that DEO was
harming the interests of service personals, ex-servicemen, war
widows as he was not allotted a flat in the society," the
report said.


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