Land does not belong to defence dept, Adarsh Society claims

Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society Thursday claimed that the land where its controversial 31-storey building stands belongs to the Maharashtra government.

Last Updated: Oct 29, 2010, 00:13 AM IST

Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society Thursday 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.
"The fact is that no Defence land has been grabbed, not even an inch has been encroached upon by Adarsh Society. The Defence has nothing to do with the land in question," Adarsh president, Brig M M Wanchu (Retd) said in a statement here.

A controversy has 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
building.

"It has been alleged that the state government while allotting (the land) has laid down that this land was reserved only for Kargil war widows or girls` hostel. This is factually not correct and baseless," Wanchu said.

The land on survey number 652, Colaba Division, forming
part of Block VI is state government`s land, which was allotted to Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) and left out for road widening, he said.

"The land was subsequently allotted to the society because the project of road widening was abandoned as a result of a ban on reclamation in 1991," he said.

The society has obtained necessary clearances from the authorities before going ahead with construction work.

"Possession of land was handed over by the city collector on October 4, 2004, building plan was approved by MMRDA, while the CRZ clearance was obtained from the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Also, the height of the building --103.4 metres -- was approved by the High Rise Committee," he said.

PTI