This Article is From Oct 28, 2010

Adarsh society flat for Ashok Chavan's mother-in-law?

Mumbai: How did a plot of land in Mumbai set aside for war widows and veterans morph into a 31-storey building with flats for politicians, bureaucrats and former army chiefs?

A trio of inquiries - by the Army, the CBI and the Environment Ministry - is trying to uncover that mystery. The high rise - the Adarsh Society - has been built in prime property in Colaba in Mumbai. Its flats were sold at a fraction of market prices for this part of the city.

The CBI is now examining who signed off on environmental and other clearances.

Adding to the embarrassment for Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan is the fact that one of the flats in Adarsh society is allotted to a woman whose name matches that of his mother-in-law: Bhagwati Manoharlal Sharma.

Chavan's mother-in-law died in July.

The chief minister is currently visiting his home constituency Nanded, and was unavailable for comment.

His party's response was guarded. "Till that point in time when the facts are not determined through an enquiry process, it would be incorrect for anybody to jump into any conclusions," said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.

Adarsh Society in Colaba was originally meant to be a six-storey structure to house Kargil war heroes and widows. It now has 104 flat-owners.

Politicians across party lines have managed to get flats in the building. Conspicuous by sheer consumption is local Congressman Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, whose family has four flats in the building.

"We all got flats by following the rules," said Gidwani.

Many flat-owners in Adarsh Society own property in other parts of the city - that should have disqualified them from being considered for allotments here.