Names of several top Indian Armed Forces officers, including two former army chiefs, have cropped up in an alleged case of property grab in Mumbai. Some top politicians and senior bureaucrats also occupy the disputed property located in the city’s Colaba area.
What makes the case even more sensitive is the fact that the complaint has been made by Western Naval Command flag officer commanding-in-chief Vice Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin. The property that has come under question is a 31-storey building Adarsh Housing Society.
Among those allotted flats are two former army chiefs. Several other generals, admirals, political leaders and senior bureaucrats have been allotted flats.
Vice Admiral Bhasin, in his letter to the navy chief, stated that the housing society is refusing to part with the list of its members. The Maharashtra government also has no details about it.
A Headlines Today investigation found that it was a big conspiracy to appropriate flats in the name of war widows and military veterans. In the process, the army even lied to the ministry of defence which then misled Parliament when a starred question on ownership of land came up in 2003. Almost all the army officers involved in misleading Parliament now owns a house in the society.
The Mumbai-based Western Naval Command has also raised serious security concerns over the high-rise. The 100 metre building is adjacent to a planned helipad and other military installations violating the coastal regulation zone limit of a maximum height of 30 metre.
However, after the issue came to light, the defence ministry is taking it seriously. It is now carefully examining the reports of alleged violation of rules by the senior defence officers.
Content of the letter
* Incomplete and fictitious details of members is held with the deputy registrar’s office. Information sought on flat allottees was being deliberately denied or inordinately delayed with malafied intent.
* Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society Ltd has acquired the plot of land under highly suspicious circumstances.
* The society has stated it has negotiated with local military authorities who expressed their willingness to allow the society to go ahead with the project if a certain amount of accommodation is also provided for army welfare.
The total plot area where Adarsh Housing Society has been constructed is 40,000 square metre. The building has 104 flats of two sizes, 600 square feet and 1,000 sq ft.
The capital value of each 600 sq ft apartment is estimated at around Rs 2.4 crore, while the capital value of 1,000 sq ft flat is Rs 4 crore.
There are nine promoters of the society led by Congress leader Kanaihaya Lal Gidwani.
-via India Today