Former municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak reiterated on Monday it was not necessary to refer the Adarsh housing society case to the BMC highrise committee for a second time when the height of the structure was proposed to be increased.
CBI has accused Phatak of having illegally regularised the construction of an additional floor without referring the matter to the highrise committee.
In an affidavit filed before the Adarsh commission in July last year,then municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar had said in October 2009,members of Adarsh society met Phatak seeking approval for the highrise. He claimed Phatak granted approval,saying there was no need for a fresh nod from the highrise committee.
On Monday,replying to a question by the commission,Phatak said,Even now,I hold the view that it was not necessary to refer it [the matter to the highrise committee.
When the commission questioned Phataks decision based solely on the point of view of the structural engineer,disregarding advice by soil and fire experts,he said a structural engineer approved the super structure after taking into account the foundation examined by the soil expert.
Phatak,however,accepted that when the highrise committee approved the original height of 97.60 metres,the FSI available for the structure was only to that extent. He said sending the extension proposal back to the committee would have caused a delay of three to four months.
Pathak also claimed an applicant could increase the height of a structure without the approval of the highrise committee. The highrise committee is an advisory committee. Its recommendations are either accepted or modified by the commissioner.The commissioner can amend,modify or stay any of his administrative decisions.