Mumbai (The Hindu): The Shiv Sena on Monday said the 31-story Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society in Colaba should not be demolished but utilised by the government for offices or handed over to social organisations who struggle for space in a city like Mumbai with high real estate prices. The Bombay High Court had ordered the building be demolished as it did not have necessary clearances.
Recalling Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s stand when the Bombay High Court had ordered the demolition of some illegal floors of Pratibha building, an editorial in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana said, “When the demolition of some illegal floors of Pratibha building was ordered, the Shiv Sena chief had taken the position that it would be wrong to waste the money, cement, water, iron, and man-hours used for constructing the building. Similarly, take action against those found guilty and instead of demolishing the building, use it for housing government offices. The government is facing a space crunch anyway. Or give it to social organisations.”
On April 29, the Bombay High Court had upheld the 2011 order of the Ministry of Environment and Forests challenged by the Adarsh society, and ruled that the 31-storey building, a symbol of corruption by powerful bureaucrats, politicians, army officers, be demolished in its entirety. The HC also granted 12 weeks time to Adarsh society to go in appeal against the order before the Supreme Court.
The editorial also questioned whether the High Court order would withstand the scrutiny of the Supreme Court when the Adarsh Society challenges it in the apex court.
“Adarsh Society is a case of plot grabbing. When an ordinary citizen wants to purchase a MHADA house, there are so many norms, legal tangles and income limitations, but the wealthy and the highly placed easily loot plots in Malabar Hill, Colaba, Bandra and Versova. Judges, big officials in Mantralaya, MPs-MLAs — these groups misuse their official position to grab plots reserved for the poor in the vicinity of Mantralaya. This must stop, and they should also be provided housing in places like Malvani and Charkop,” the editorial said.
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