Mumbai society scam: Ex-forces chiefs will return flats for martyrs

In a new twist to the ongoing Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society controversy, former chiefs of the Army & Navy on Friday claimed they were unaware about the flats being meant for the kin of Kargil war martyrs.

Last Updated: Oct 29, 2010, 19:11 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Mumbai: In a new twist to the ongoing Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society controversy, former chiefs of the Army on Friday claimed they were unaware about the flats being meant for the kin of Kargil war martyrs and that they will return their flats in the building.

A statement in this regard was issued by former Navy
chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh on behalf of himself and the
two former Army chiefs Generals Deepak Kapoor and NC Vij.

"At no stage we were aware that these flats are meant
for Kargil war widows as claimed by certain sections of the
media and if that be so, then we have absolutely no hesitation
whatsoever in returning these flats to the authorities
concerned," Singh said.

The Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society in Colaba was supposed to be a 6-storey building and meant for the kin of Kargil war heroes. It however stands at 31 storeys, is embroiled in a controversy about encroaching on defence land and overlooking sensitive Army installations apart from the issue of flats being allotted to top Army, Navy officials, state ministers including CM Ashok Chavan and bureaucrats.

The CBI has stepped in to probe the scam.

Today three former service chiefs General (retd) N V Vij and General (retd) Deepak Kapoor, former Navy chief Admiral (retd) Madhavendra Singh issued a statement, claiming they did not know that the flats allotted to them were actually meant for Kargil martys’ widows. They added the flats will be returned to the Society.

“We did not know flats were for Kargil heroes,” Gen. Kapoor said.

Gen. Vij said also said he was unaware about the actual purpose of the flats. “I am very anguished about what has happened,” Gen. Vij has said.

Expressing "utter dismay" over the controversy, the
former Navy chief said, "the two Generals and I have spent our
lifetime in the Service and looking after the welfare of our
troops. I can assure everyone that it was never ever our
intention to deprive anyone of their dues."

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.

The Society owners have denied the allegations.

In a statement issued here late Wednesday evening, retired brigadier MM Wanchu, president of the society, said: `The fact is that no defence land has been grabbed, not even an inch has been encroached by Adarsh Society.`

`The persons staying in the building or the members have been approved by the government of Maharashtra and their antecedents have been properly verified and checked by the state government authorities,` according to Wanchu.

--Agencies inputs