Key documents like maps and survey records relating to the land where the controversial Adarsh Housing Society is squatting, and surrounding areas in Colaba, in Mumbai continue to vanish from almost all government offices, the latest being the land records office itself where maps and certain survey sheets from 1872 to 1960 have gone missing.
Sanjay Dikhle, superintendent of city survey and land records, told senior advocate Dipan Merchant of the two-member commission probing the Adarsh scam on Friday that historical maps of 1847, when Mumbai was first systematically mapped, and 1882 were not available in his office.
The first survey of the island city was conducted by British officer Pringle in 1827. Another survey followed in 1864-65 and in between, a joint survey was carried out in 1847.
"Certain survey sheets from 1872 to 1960 pertaining to the Adarsh land and surrounding areas in Colaba are also missing," Dikhle told the counsel during cross examination.
The office, however, is in possession of survey maps of 1872, the offical added.
It is for the fourth time that key Adarsh land documents between 1847 and 1882, which could have shown whether the Adarsh plot existed at the time, have gone missing.
The records were first missing at the Maharashtra government's urban development department, then at the central government's ministry of environment and forests and then at the Army headquarters in Mumbai, and now, at the office of land records in Mumbai itself.
Dikhle's revelations put a question mark on the safety of important land records kept in these permeable government offices.