WHILE STANDING by its decision to demolish the building, the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) had, in 2011, said that the construction of the Adarsh building was “unauthorised and illegal”. In an affidavit filed by the deputy director of MoEF, in response to the society challenging the ministry’s decision of demolishing the building, it had stated that “the society and all the members were aware of illegalities but nevertheless continued construction”.
The affidavit, filed in March 2011, also mentioned that the building had been constructed “without prior approval under Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification of 1991”.
“The CRZ notification lists out various activities, including construction activities which require clearance from ministry, state authority or other agencies. All construction of more than Rs 5 crore is regulated by the CRZ notification. No permission has been obtained from the MoEF through the Urban Development department under the CRZ notification,” the affidavit said.
The affidavit goes on to say that an Urban Development department letter dated March 2003, signed by P V Deshmukh, one of the flat beneficiaries, falsely records that MoEF had communicated their ‘no objection’ to allow development of the society.
The society further used Floor Space Index (FSI) in excess of what is permitted, according to the MoEF.
“A government memorandum of August 8, 2005, subjects the rights of the society to use the FSI from the BEST plot (the plot adjacent to the Adarsh society) upon change made to the development plan in the designation from BEST depot to residential zone and permissions from the MoEF and the MMRDA. They did not apply for the same permission. They are therefore not entitled to utilise the FSI available from BEST plot,” said the MoEF, adding that it is not permissible for a party to utilise FSI of adjoining plot by amalgamation of that plot.