Environment Ministry wants Adarsh society building to be demolished

New Delhi: In a strongly-worded order, the Environment Ministry has said that Adarsh society building should be demolished.

Accusing the society of violating the spirit of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) laws, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said that the society 'should be removed in entirety and the area restored'.

The Environment Ministry had earlier served a notice to the 31-storey housing society asking it why the illegal floors in the building should not be demolished.

However, reacting to the Environment Ministry's decision, counsel for Adarsh society Satish Maneshinde said, "The tenor of the order is completely malafide... unfair hearing... the minister was bent upon demolishing Adarsh since the beginning... we will challenge the demolition order."
The Adarsh scam claimed its first victim last year in the form of Ashok Chavan who was forced to resign as Maharashtra Chief Minister after reports surfaced that his kin including late mother-in-law, owned flats in the society.

After Chavan, top babus too faced the axe, most notably among them being Ramanand Tiwari, Maharashtra's Chief Information Commissioner and Subhash K Lalla, Maharashtra Human Rights Commissioner and former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh's secretary.

The society in Colaba, a plush locality in Mumbai, was originally meant to be a six-storey structure to house Kargil War heroes and their kin but was later extended to 31 floors allegedly without mandatory permission.

Investigations by the media suggest that politicians, retired Army officers and senior bureaucrats colluded to corner flats in the building. The Army is investigating the role of some of its senior-most officers in the scam.