In a significant development, former Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor on Thursday said that he didn’t believe that the Adarsh building in Colaba, which overlooks a military station, was a security threat.
Kapoor said this before the two-member judicial panel that has been formed by the Maharashtra government to probe the Adarsh scam.
This claim made by Kapoor, who retired as the Chief of Army Staff in 2010, is not surprising. He had applied for and was allotted a flat in the Adarsh society building in 2005. According to him, he surrendered the flat in 2010 after the Adarsh scam broke out.
“I am aware that the site of Adarsh building is in the vicinity of the Army area in Colaba. But I did not find out whether construction of a high-rise building so close to an Army installation would be a security threat,” Kapoor said.
He went on to add: “It did not occur to me that the building would pose a security threat because there are number of buildings of similar height in the area (in Colaba).”
The former Army chief’s statement is at odds with that of the Defence Ministry that has all along been objecting to the Adarsh construction on two grounds: one, that it is a security threat as it overlooks a military installation; second, that the land was in their possession and it belonged to them.
The defence wants to demolish the 31-storey building as it poses a threat and has even filed a petition in the Bombay High Court for this.
Kapoor felt that the local military authority would be in the best position to determine whether a building is a security threat or not. However, he seemed to contradict himself when he said that a number of factors go into deciding whether a building can be classified as a security threat.
“The height of the building, proximity to a sensitive area and ability to overlook into the sensitive area needs to be considered,” Kapoor said.
According to the Defence Ministy, Adarsh fulfills all these criteria. It is quite near to the military installation, and being 31-storey high, it also overlooks the military installations.
-via India Today.