Chavan in dock over Mumbai society scam

Reports claim that close relatives of CM Ashok Chavan’s are also among the beneficiaries.

Last Updated: Oct 29, 2010, 17:01 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Mumbai: More skeletons are tumbling out of Mumbai’s Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society flat allotment scam with the reports claiming on Friday that close relatives of Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s are also among the beneficiaries.

Chavan, as Revenue Minister in 2002, had given clearance to allot plots to non defence members in the Society, reports said.

Not only this, the Chief Minister is also said to have played a major role in the allotment of five flats to his relatives.

The controversy had erupted over how the Adarsh society in Colaba, originally meant to be a six-storey structure to house Kargil war heroes and widows, got converted into a 31-storey tower - allegedly through collusion of bureaucrats, politicians and top defence officers.
The highrise is built on 6,450 sq metres within the Colaba naval area and was cleared on the condition of housing war veterans but now has 104 members including senior army commanders, a former environment minister, legislators and state bureaucrats.

Earlier it was reported a flat was allotted to Chavan’s mother-in-law Bhagwati, following which the Chief Minister had said, “The question is over ownership of the land, which is being ascertained. If it was a state government plot and was allotted to any society, any individual can become a member.”

Chavan had also said he didn’t know if his relatives had flats in the housing society as they would have sought membership in their individual capacities.

Importantly, Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society, earlier this week, claimed that the land where its controversial 31-storey building stands belongs to the Maharashtra government, saying that it has not encroached "even an inch" of any land for the construction purpose.

However, the Western Naval Command holds a different opinion. It has already asked the Chavan government not to issue No Objection Certificate to Aadarsh housing society, which violates the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules and security norms in the defence area of Colaba.