In a significant development, the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has dismissed the proposal by the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society to regularise its earlier violations, relating to floor space index (FSI), land ownership and zoning. Citing the high court order and the notification of the ministry of environment, forest and climate change, the MCZMA has decided not to recommend the society's proposal to the MoEF. The Adarsh Housing Society is a 31-story building constructed on prime real estate in South Mumbai.
The authority, in its decision, noted: “The matter of Adarsh CHS has been dealt by the Hon High Court (HC), which has observed that petitioners have consumed floor space index (FSI) of 2.932 as against the permissible FSI of 1.33. HC further observed that the entire construction carried out by the petitioners (Adarsh CHS) is unauthorised and illegal and in total defiance of provisions of the Environment Protection Act and Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act.”
A MCZMA official present at the meeting, told The Free Press Journal, “The authority has dismissed the Adarsh CHS’s proposal to regularise earlier violations based on the rulings given by the Supreme Court and High Court.’’
“The authority, in conclusion, noted that the HC order is still in force and MCZMA is dutybound to abide by the findings and observation in the Adarsh CHS matter,’’ he noted.
The Authority has referred the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to revoke the occupational certificate granted to Adarsh CHS on October 30, 2010. The MMRDA’s stand on the matter was submitted to the HC and it was decided on April 29, 2016. The HC order was challenged in the Supreme Court by the Adarsh CHS. The apex court stayed the demolition of the building.
Thereafter, the apex court directed the Union of India to take possession of the building and did not pass interim orders. “In view of the above, HC’s order of April 29, 2016, is still applicable and MMRDA shall abide by the same and any other directives issued by the MCZMA,’’ said MMRDA in its submission.
Further, the authority noted that as per the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification of March 6, 2018, “all activities, which are otherwise permissible under the provisions of this notification, but have commenced construction without prior clearance, would be considered for regularization only in such cases wherein this project applied for regularization in the specified time and those which are in violation of CRZ norms would not be regularized.’’
Moreover, the authority ruled that it was observed that the notification of March 6, 2018, for post facto clearance could not be applied to the proposal of Adarsh CHS, as it was not otherwise permissible. “Therefore, the authority decided that the proposal could not be recommended to MoEF for regularization as per the CRZ Notification of March 6, 2018,’’ it said.
The decision is important as the two-member judicial commission, comprising Justice JA Patil and P Subrahmanyam (retired IAS), had said Adarsh was not a saga of ideal cooperation but a shameless tale of blatant violations of statutory provisions, rules and regulations. It reflected greed, nepotism and favouritism on the part of some people, the commission said.