Activist claims two builders violated norms

Lawyer and activist YP Singh claimed Tuesday builders Ecstacy Realty and HDIL flouted state government norms by constructing in a 30-metre buffer zone meant for tree plantation next to the upcoming Metro car depot in Andheri.

The projects Raiaskaran Place and Metropolis are coming up on a plot near Four Bungalows on JP Road in Andheri (West).

"The illegal construction was brought to the notice of BMC on several occasions in the past four months, but no action has been taken," Singh, a former IPS officer, said. He said the projects were coming up on a 30-acre plot the state urban development department had, through a government notification dated July 12, 2005, reserved for a Metro car depot, workshop, allied activities and commercial use.

The notification said there should be a buffer of 30 metres around the land with tree plantation on it to avoid noise pollution.

A BMC engineer, however, said the notification was for a buffer zone for the Metro car depot since it would impact the quality of life in the area and did not concern residential projects.

"The developers signed consent terms in court with the urban development department. The terms did not mention buffer zone," he said. While HDIL declined comment, Ecstacy Realty could not be reached.

Singh cited Jaya Bachchan's affidavit to the election commission to say the Rajya Sabha MP had lent Rs 5.03 crore to Ecstacy Realty, while her husband actor Amitabh Rs 2.17 crore. He said the Bachchans may not have been aware of the project at the time of lending money, but should take the lead in demolition now.

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