Sunday, January 16, 2011

Society members to challenge demolition order

Society members to challenge demolition order

Mumbai: Members of Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society (ACHS) in Colaba are preparing for the second round of a legal battle after the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) ruled that the 31-storey building was built in violation of the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) Act, 1991.

The MoEF has ordered the demolition of the building within three months for violating green norms. The society is yet to receive a copy of the order. ACHS’s advocate Satish Maneshinde said on Sunday that they would challenge the order in the Bombay High Court soon. “The tenor of the order is malafide and illegal. The ministry did not give us a fair hearing,’’ he said. Though the official order was released only on Sunday, it was already leaked to the media, said Maneshinde.

ACHS members are looking at two legal options: to move the Delhi or Bombay high court. “We learnt about the order from Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh’s media statement. Our senior counsel said the order was served at his residence on Sunday,’’ he said.

ACHS members are already fighting a legal battle after the authorities ordered that water and power supply to the building be snapped. In December 2010, the HC had pulled up the state government for granting clearance to the building and permitting a 31-storey structure to come up. “There is clear-cut manipulation by the collectorate, revenue ministry and urban development ministry. Everyone who was supposed to clear the file has been gifted (a flat),’’ the high court had said. The court had also pulled up the state for not taking action against bureaucrats who cleared the file granting permission for the building’s construction. It had directed the MoEF to take a decision only after hearing the members.

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