Monday, May 16, 2011

Another Adarsh - Kalpataru Towers Kandivali

The storm has kicked in already around another Adarsh-like Defence land scandal. In my view, it is on a much bigger scale than Adarsh.

The land under dispute is right outside the present walls of a large Defence complex. On google maps, it is marked as Food Corporation of India. But I can safely say that it is anything but.

A large number of Defence personnel stay there, there is a sign of an Army Hospital pointing towards the complex. During the first Gulf War, there was huge artillery and army vehicle movement from the complex. I still remember tanks, and big rugged trucks lined up outside the main entrance to the complex marked 'UN' waiting for their desert safari.

Everyone living in the area always knew that the land outside the main entrance was anything but private -either it was used as a defence complex extension or as a park or hospital or some other public scheme. But suddenly one day about 4-5 years ago, huge corrugated sheets came up, and construction started at a break neck pace. They dumped so much debris and mud in the whole space so as to raised the ground level of this entire plot by about 5 feet, completely changing the topography of the place. Every since, Arya Chanakya Nagar, has become a low lying area that is easily inundated by moderate rains.

They also completely mangled the already small nullah adjacent to the land. Mind you, this nullah carries all the sewage and rain water from right from the National Park Hills through the large shanty settlements. They reduced the width of the nullah about a third, and made a road leading to the multi storey car park. In the last 5 years, all ground floor flats have been submerged under 5 feet water. Extract from DNA,

The residents allege that the developer has closed one of the three outlets for drain water, which may cause a bottleneck during heavy rains, leading to flooding. The nullah originates at Borivli’s hills and merges with the nullah in Poisar.

Read the full story here.

Until almost 6 months - 1 year after the construction began, no one knew who the builder was. Later the Kalpataru sign went up. They had such a substantial cash flow, that there was no booking done on any flat, until the building was almost 75% complete.

And what a monstrosity it is. It is 31 storey high multi level car park. Multiple building wings all attached to each other so as not to waste inch of the precious (I am sure very) space.

Most of the flats overlook straight into the defence land. Without a doubt, it is a massive security threat, and can be used easily for espionage or target defence installations.

There is no doubt in my mind, that huge sums of cash changed hands to make this deal happen. I am glad that the allegations are getting huge media coverage now. Based on the size and scale of the project, the scam looks bigger than Adarsh to me. For the latest news on this, subscribe to the RSS feed

I hope the opposition (go Kirit go!) are able to pursue the matter to the end, and bring the truth out in the open.