Adarsh housing scam probe on

Chavans mother-in-law was also society member
Last Updated 28 October 2010, 17:43 IST

At the same time, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has begun probing the scam after the revelation that one of the society members was Chavan’s late mother-in-law.
Chavan is celebrating his 52nd birthday and is away at his hometown Nanded on Thursday. He was unavailable for comments.

According to revenue department and society officials, the society’s official list of members has a name Bhagwati Manoharlal Sharma.  Sharma, 77, was Chavan’s mother-in-law and died in July this year while she was staying with the Chavan family at the chief minister’s official residence “Varsha.”

When the scam broke out over the prime property in Mumbai’s Colaba area, supposedly owned or in possession of the Army, and having been converted into a high-rise Adarsh Society with apartments going to ex-service officers and individuals, Chavan sought a detailed report from the authorities concerned.

The plot was given to the society by the state government, which claimed ownership of the plot. It was reserved for Kargil war widows and military veterans.

A former Member of Parliament who crossed over from Shiv Sena to the Congress, Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, was instrumental in getting the land for the society from the  government.  He himself got three flats in the society at a price of Rs 70-80 lakh each, when the market price for the same flat in Colaba area was not less than Rs 7-8 crore.

The housing society indeed paid Rs 16 crore to the government to purchase the plot plus Rs 8 crore to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority towards development charges. However, there are security concerns and the defence ministry has launched its own inquiry into the matter.

3 dozen veterans beneficiaries

Over three dozen military veterans are among the beneficiaries of the scam, reports DHNS from Mumbai.  Former Army chiefs General (retd) N V Vij and General (retd) Deepak Kapoor, former Navy chief Admiral (retd) Madhavendra Singh, as well as state bureaucrats and politicians, including a former union environment minister, and their relatives have been allotted flats. Former state chief secretary D K Sankaran’s son Sanjoy is among the allottees.

The society, originally meant to be a six-storey structure to house Kargil war heroes and widows,   turned into a 31-storey tower now.

(Published 28 October 2010, 15:30 IST)

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