Citizens' Issues
NAPM exposed Adarsh scam in 2008, according to activists

Acting on a complaint in 2008 from the Medha Patkar led National Alliance of People’s Movements, defence authorities had initiated action and the department of environment had issued a show-cause notice to Adarsh Housing Society

While much has been written in the media about the Adarsh Housing Society scam, what is not known is that it was first exposed in 2008 by a group of activists. On the basis of complaints filed by the Medha Patkar led National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), the defence authorities initiated action and the department of environment had issued a show cause notice to the society, according to a press release by the activist group.

According to activists Simpreet Singh and Santosh Daonkar, NAPM applied for information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and filed a complaint on 27 August 2008 with the department of defence, the Maharashtra government, the department of environment, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

This led the ministry of defence to initiate an enquiry and order an investigation, while the department of environment, Maharashtra, served a show-cause notice to the Adarsh Co-operative Society on 3 November 2009, almost one year after NAPM filed the complaint.

Explaining what prompted NAPM to file an RTI, Mr Singh said, "We were working on the issue of housing rights in the slums. What we realised is that the order of demolishing of the slums were given by these officials claiming that these slums were illegal and the slum-dwellers have no rights. But at the same time, we found that there were several buildings and towers in the city which were equally illegal. In that reference, we have been filing RTI and exposing such land scams. Adarsh Housing Society was one of them in that series."

The activists had alleged that many concessions were given to Adarsh Housing Society which were not only objectionable but against norms. Among them include, the reservation of the plot modified from Transit Camp & a Parade Ground to Residential Zone, a road of width 60 meters reduced to 19 meters, FSI of the adjoining bus depot given to the Adarsh Society, 15% of the area allowed to be used for commercial purpose rather than residential, the income ceiling of Rs12,500 per month waived for army personnel and politicians, construction started without obtaining environmental clearance and Occupation Certificate awarded before the building was fully ready.

The Adarsh Housing Society scam is related to the allotment of land at Colaba (south Mumbai) which was in possession of the army. After the Kargil War, the land was allocated for building of flats to "accommodate and reward the heroes of Kargil's operation and those who had laid down their lives for the protection of the motherland." The initial list of society members comprised 40 members and included the defence personnel.

But, as it turned out, the list of members rose to 103 out of which only 37 members belonged to the army and that too only 3 members were associated with the Kargil war. Current Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, Krishnarao Patil, Congress, and Jairaj Phatak, ex-municipal commissioner, are among the bureaucrats and politicians who have put themselves or their relatives into the list of members or own flats in the society.

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6 years ago

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Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Q2 net zooms 91% to Rs369 crore

Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance said its net profit increased 91% to Rs369 crore for the September 2010 quarter from Rs193 crore during the same period last year.
The company has cited reduction in fixed expenses and growth in assets under management (AUM) as the reasons for this rise.

During the first half to end-September, its new business premium increased to Rs1,511 crore from Rs1,441 crore, a year ago.

However, its gross written premium (GWP) fell to Rs4,151 crore from Rs4,521 due to dip in renewal premiums, a company's spokesperson said.

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance net profit increased 22% to Rs66 crore from Rs54 crore in the year-ago period. According to the company, strong auto sales, capital expenditure by corporates and strong economic conditions have lead to an increase in profits. The GWP collected by the company rose to Rs1,420 crore from Rs1,218 crore.
 

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