New Delhi: The extent of corruption in the Adarsh Society scam can be gauged from the fact that before the construction could begin, some state government officials not only acquired membership of the society but acting as an agent made efforts to get the approvals and clearances from the Centre for the building.

PV Deshmukh, then Urban Development Department Deputy Secretary, personally visited Delhi on government expenses to acquire environmental clearance for the building and submitted the application of the Adarsh society to Joint Director of the Ministry of Environment. Deshmukh became a member of the Adarsh society in February 2003, much before the approval for land and construction of the building.

As a result of his efforts, he owns a flat in the building.  Deshmukh not only kept the top officials in dark about getting necessary approvals for the building but even continued helping the beneficiaries by misusing his position. It is said, had Deshmukh fulfilled his responsibility, the Adarsh society building would not have been constructed.

The state government decided to allot land for the Adarsh society building in July, 2003. Surprisingly, Deshmukh had sent the application for approval to the Environment ministry in October, 2002. When the ministry enquired about the application, Deshmukh himself visited the national capital on January 6, 2003 to give clarification in this regard.

It is to be noted, the letter sent by the Ministry of Environment seeking clarification had not even reached Principal Secretary of the Urban Development Department of Maharashtra by then.

Moreover, when the Environment Ministry in its letter written on March 11, 2003 gave the permission for the proposed construction in adherence with the CRZ rules, Deshmukh wrote to BMC Chief Engineer (Development Planning) on March 15, 2003 wrongly interpreting the letter as a no objection certificate. This is the reason due to which the Adarsh society is still entrapped in dispute.

(JPN/Bureau)