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Adarsh has not having environmental clearance; Maharashtra govt

Posted on Jan 17, 09:38PM | UNI

The Maharashtra government today told the two-member judicial commission probing the Adarsh housing scam that it did not have the necessary environmental clearance, even as the panel wrapped up the proceedings.

The judicial commission of inquiry, which concluded the hearing yesterday, is expected to submit its final report to state government next month, the sources in the panel indicated to mediapersons here today.

In his final arguments yesterday, government counsel A Y Sakhare told the commission that the building was constructed without Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance or go-ahead from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

The government also said society should not have constructed 31 floors as the Development Control Regulations (DCR), 1967, applicable to it, did not permit that.

According to the state, the building situated in south Mumbai's upscale Colaba, could have been built only up to 46.5 meters and not the present 100.7 meters.

It is for the first time that the state government, which had hitherto maintained that its bureaucrats had not flouted any rules in granting clearances for the building, has admitted the society did not have environmental clearance.

The state government has supported the MoEF's claim that the 2003 letter by the Urban Development department to the society was misrepresented as environmental clearance by one of the accused in the case -- P V Deshmukh, a former deputy secretary in the department.

The Commission, headed by retired Bombay High Court judge J A Patil, set up on January 8, 2011, has started dictating its findings in chamber and will submit its report to the state government by the end of next month.