Adarsh residents to move HC against demolition order

Residents of the controversial Adarsh Housing Society in the upmarket Colaba area of Mumbai have decided to move the courts against the ministry of environment and forests' (MoEF) demolition order on their apartment building.

The MoEF on Sunday ordered the demolition of the 31-storied Adarsh building, saying it was built in a restricted coastal zone without the necessary ecological clearances.

The Adarsh scam has been a major setback for the Congress-led government at the centre as well as in Maharashtra, and led to the resignation of former chief minister Ashok Chavan.

Originally planned as a six-storey structure meant for widows and children of war martyrs, the building was allegedly illegally increased in size, and flats allotted to government officials and senior army brass rather than war widows.

Satish Maneshinde, the counsel of the residents, said prima facie the MoEF order is malafide and arbitrary, and it can be challenged in Bombay high court.

"What was the MoEF's hurry in passing the order at lightening speed on a Sunday and publishing it on their website without even informing the society?" he asked.