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Updated: January 17, 2011 12:42 IST

Demolish Adarsh building, orders Jairam Ramesh

Special Correspondent
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A view of the controversial Adarsh housing society building at Colaba, Mumbai. The Union Environment Ministry on Sunday ordered the demolition of the building within three months for violating green norms. File photo
A view of the controversial Adarsh housing society building at Colaba, Mumbai. The Union Environment Ministry on Sunday ordered the demolition of the building within three months for violating green norms. File photo

Taking a strong stand against the construction of the 31-storey Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society (ACHS) building in Mumbai, the Ministry of Environment and Forests on Sunday ordered its demolition, saying it had no authorisation and clearance.

Having considered and rejected two other options – part demolition in excess of the Floor Space Index (FSI) or takeover of the building by the government for public use – Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh exercised the option of removing it completely and restoring the area to its original condition.

The entire structure had to removed as it was unauthorised and no clearance whatsoever under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 1991 was obtained, said a Ministry order.

Explaining the rationale behind exercising the demolition option, the Minister said the fact that there may well be cases of similar violations provided no grounds for mitigation of the penalty attracted by such an egregious violation as that by the ACHS.

Mr. Ramesh felt any other decision would have diluted the strong precedents that were set in judgments of the Supreme Court and different High Courts.

The ACHS, he said, violated the very spirit of the CRZ Notification, 1991 by not even acknowledging the need for clearance under this notification.

“Whether they [the ACHS] were aware of such requirement or not is immaterial, as ignorance of law can never be an excuse for non-compliance,'' he said.

The building would have to be torn down within three months, failing with the Ministry would be constrained to undertake action in this regard, the order said.

The Ministry had granted three extensions to the Society to respond to its November 12, 2010 show-cause notice.

Mr. Ramesh reiterated that the CRZ Notification published on January 7 this year makes no difference to ACHS-like cases. In addition to the safeguards provided for such cases in the CRZ Notification, 2011 itself, this practice was substantiated by the principle enshrined in Article 20(1) of the Constitution that stated, “No person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of a law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence...”.

Controversy over the building erupted last year following reports that the structure in which some defence officers, including three former Services Chiefs and others from Maharashtra, owned flats in the project intended to benefit Kargil war widows. The Navy objected to the high-rise in Colaba area on the grounds that it overlooks some sensitive defence establishment in the vicinity.

While the former Army Chiefs, General Deepak Kapoor and General N.C. Vij, and the former Navy Chief Admiral Madhvendra Singh announced the surrendering of their flats, a CBI probe was ordered to ascertain how the land in defence possession was transferred and establish the complicity of officials in the move.

Building that building would have created so much carbon footprints in the first place.Further demloishing it may create more carbon footprints and so much resources used so far might be wasted.So, it's better to analyse how much net carbon footprints are created before implementing such an order..

from:  Pragathi
Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 at 23:56 IST

The takeover of the building by the government for public use is the best option without wasting the resources as India is a poor country.

from:  V P Singh
Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 at 20:44 IST

And people wonder how their tax money gets wasted!!

from:  Dinesh
Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 at 17:33 IST

Of course it is a waste of money by demolishing buiding but it's a lesson for those who are involved in unauthorised construction or want to do something like this.I appreciate the Hon'ble Minister for taking such action to protect environment which is causing biggest threat to World.

from:  Reena Deepak
Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 at 16:23 IST

Where were these Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) officials, when this building was being constructed? Such a skyscraper is not built overnight. Huge money of the nation is wasted in constructing it. In demolition again money will we wasted. So, it will be better if the same building can be utilized as Govt. office or school or a hospital etc.

from:  Pankaj Kumar
Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 at 14:23 IST

It a firm but a stupid decision.Any makeover cannot be to the original.At least govt can tak over and hand over to the poor if they want to create a slum free india. What a shame. Always a better/Optimum utilization should be thought off rather than with this ideas.

from:  Sedhu Madhavan
Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 at 10:31 IST

A million kudos to Minister Jairam Ramesh. Probably the only Minister with courage in Dr. Singh's Govt. The only minister who cares for honesty; who is firm in dealing with violators.

from:  narasimhan
Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 at 10:14 IST

Incredible India!

from:  Atis d Mitra
Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 at 09:34 IST

This is a nice move by Congress to distract citizens from all scams of 2010. If Ministry really wants to set a standard, why a DEADLINE for demolimition has not been clearly marked. It's typical of Congress to make statement and then once it is off the RADAR of media/ People, to continue as usual. Opposition parties need to keep tab on each statements and check if follow-up has been done or not.

from:  Amit Badve
Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 at 09:27 IST

No compromise with security. The key question comes here that how the builder got approval, and the building had not been constructed within a night so that no one could check the papers of the building. If there was no clearance from Govt Authority, it must be in the knowledge of govt office, but they never tried to check its paper or verification of documents, but simply kept themselves silent. Needless to say here that constructing of the building is a result of corruption in which all highly profiles may be involved. The Govt should investigate the matter in deep.

from:  deepak
Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 at 08:33 IST

Thanks Mr. Jairam Ramesh. It should be the way for grabbing public land.

from:  Marath Murali
Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 at 08:13 IST

I don't know what these people think of public...

One person says there is zero loss, no scam, nothing went wrong...

Other person wants to demolish a 31 storied building, constructed with public money (Rem: we donated for Kargil), just like that...

from:  Sankar
Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 at 08:06 IST

Jairam Ramesh's statement to demolish Adarsh building is like 'kill the patient, if has cancer' seems pathetic and irresponsible. Instead, he should recommend effective systems in place to abolish corruption and bring all culprits of Adarsh scam to justice to prevail democracy.
Will Jairam Ramesh bear the cost of building - Adarsh building somewhere else with same facilities while making statement of abolishing it or he thinks all taxpayers are fools to take this kind of statement. It is easy to demolish but hard to build that too at the cost of our brave soldiers who are protecting our life and property.

from:  baiju kodungallur
Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 at 07:33 IST

In addition to demolishing the building, we must try the accused in courts. Otherwise not much would be achieved out of the lost investment money...

from:  Ankit Chandra
Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 at 06:22 IST

In country of meager resources with everyone vying for infrastructure and housing, it is arrogant and unwise to demolish a completed structure. People with government funded houses and cars have developed this indifference towards private properties.

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 at 01:03 IST

It is unfair to have asked the buillder to demolish, when Jairam Ramesh govt was keeping quiet during the construction time. And there is some politicial motive behind the demolition orders. And the builders should seek court order for a stay and fight for rights.

from:  vaidya
Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 at 00:44 IST

Corruption is a crime not less than sedition and terrorist act. It is financial terrorism against Indian people and state. It is necessary to punish culprits of all sizes strongly in order to restore the faith of Indian people in the state and its functionality. It is one of those major causes which obstacles India in becoming a super-power nation.

from:  ammar anas
Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 at 00:31 IST
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