Published On : Thu, Mar 3rd, 2016

It was Anandam City project that took toll of NMC Executive Engineer not the missing file

The Town Planning Department’s Executive Engineer Mahesh Gupta was suspended following uproar in General Body Meeting over missing pages from a file containing vital information regarding a project. But it was just a ploy. Actual reason was the high-rise project. Gupta refused to regularize the illegal constructions.

godrej anandam City NagpurNagpur: The NMC Town Planning Department’s Executive Engineer Mahesh Gupta was suspended following uproar in General Body Meeting over missing pages from a file containing vital information regarding a project. Gupta was prima facie found responsible for the missing pages of the file.

However, according to sources, the actual reason for the suspension seems different, altogether.

According to information, a ruling party leader was given the responsibility by a top leader, who had facilitated bringing the Anandam City project to city, to ensure regularization of some illegal constructions. Meetings after meetings were held between the ruling party leader and a delegation of the builder with regularization the subject.

Subsequently, the ruling party leader put the ball in the court of the Town Planning Executive Engineer Mahesh Gupta to ‘ensure’ regularization of the illegal constructions. However, Gupta refused to toe the line. Gupta’s refusal ultimately resulted in his suspension and shifting of over a dozen other officials of the Town Planning Department to other departments. The suspension and transfers were a ploy to see that the Anandam City did not face any ‘difficulty’ for whatsoever purpose.

Sources said that Gupta was a upright, no-nonsense officer. A former Chairman of Standing Committee had even deployed Gupta as Officer on Special Duty in Mumbai to ensure that the proposals of the Committee get approvals from Mantralaya.

Builder found violating environment, MPCB norms, flagrantly:
The high-profile realtor Gold Bricks Infrastructure Private Limited, the builder of high-rise Anandam City on 29 acres of Model Mill land, Ganeshpeth, has been found violating Environment Clearance conditions as well as Water and Air Pollution Act. Subsequently, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has slapped a show cause notice, signed by Dr P Anbalagan (IAS), Member Secretary, asking the builder as to why punitive action should not be initiated against it.

This information got revealed in a RTI query put up by activist T H Naidu. The Gold Bricks Infrastructure Private Limited was granted Environmental Clearance by Environment Department, Government of Maharashtra on 16.10.2010 for carrying out Anandam City (mixed use development) at Model Mill Land, Ganeshpeth having total built up area of 3,14,344 sq mt for 17 high residential towers of Type A (S+11), six towers type A1 (S+15), two towers type B (S+15), six towers type C (S+15), 3 towers and 32 villas. Similarly, MPCB granted consent to establish and consent to operate for towers A, B, C, D, E (S+15 only).

However, the Sub-Regional Officer of MPCB visited the site, he found that the builder constructed six numbers of towers (Basement+Ground+Stilt+19 floors each) without obtaining amendment in environmental clearance for change in building configuration. The builder also started operating additional floors of Tower A, B, C, D, E and part of F tower without consent from MPCB.

Moreover, municipal solid waste was being treated in MSW Drum Composter which was not in operation at the time of MPCB officer’s visit. Further, the MSW was stored unscientifically i.e. biogradable, nonbiogradable waste was not segregated and at some places burning of MSW was observed. The builder had not provided proper treatment arrangement for the domestic affluent to the labourers residing adjacent to Tower F.

The visiting Sub-Regional Officer of MPCB found that the builder violated the conditions of environment clearance granted by competent authority and conditions of consent to establish and consent to operate (part) granted by the MPCB for the aforesaid project.

After finding the flagrant violations, the MPCB issued show cause notice asking the builder as to why the consent to establish and consent to operate (part) should not be revoked? Why further necessary action including filing of prosecution before appropriate court of law should not be initiated against the builder? Why the builder’s construction activities at the aforesaid site should not be directed to closed down and also directions to competent authorities to disconnect water/electricity supply to the construction activities?

The Gold Bricks Infrastructure Pvt Ltd was given seven days time to reply to the show cause notice failing which the MPCB would initiate appropriate legal action against it.

It could not be ascertained whether the builder complied with the directives or not.

-Rajeev Ranjan Khushwah ( )