Def Min to take ''balanced view'' on MoEF demolition order

New Delhi, Jan 18 (PTI) After the Environment Ministryrecommended the demolition of the Adarsh Housing Societybuilding in Mumbai for violating coastal regulations, DefenceMinistry today said it would take a "balanced view" on theissue before arriving at any decision.

"I don''t want to comment on the views of others but Iwould say that a balanced view would be taken in the Ministry.

....I can''t comment on the future of the building but a viewwill be taken in best interest of everybody," Minister ofState for Defence M M Pallam Raju told reporters here.

He was responding to queries about the future of thebuilding in view of the Environment Ministry''s recentrecommendation.

The CBI is also likely to give its recommendations as towhether the building constructed next to a sensitive navalbase is a security threat and whether it should be demolishedor given to the Defence Ministry for public use.

The CBI probe into scam was recommended by the Ministryafter it emerged that flats were alloted to several seniorserving and retired military personnel including three formerService chiefs.

On Sunday, the Environment Ministry recommended that the31-storey building should be demolished within three months asthe project in Mumbai''s upmarket Colaba was "unauthorised" andviolated the spirit of coastal regulations.

The Environment Ministry in its final orders on thecontroversial building, in which flats were doled out topoliticians, top defence personnel and bureaucrats as well astheir kin, had said, "The unauthorised structure built...

should be removed in its entirety and the area restored to itsoriginal condition."

Asked if the Defence Ministry would recommend a CBI probein the Kandivali land scam, Raju said, "If the Army Commandhas recommended a CBI probe, then I think probably theMinistry will follow the advice."

In his report, Southern Army Commander Lt Gen PradeepKhanna has said that a plot of land in Kandivali-Malad area inMumbai, which was with Army on lease, was sold "illegally" toa private builder in 2007 at the intervention of InderjitSingh and Gen Deepak Kapoor.

The land in question belongs to the state government andhad been on rent with the Central Ordnance Depot since 1942.

On the issue of China issuing stapled visas to residentsof Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, the Minister said,"It is unacceptable to us." PTI AJD

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