April 11th, 2012
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Probe against Mukesh Ambani’s house extension

antillaMumbai: The Maharashtra government ordered a probe into an alleged unauthorized construction of a footpath by Mukesh Ambani as a part of the extension of Mukesh Ambani’s 27-storey home, Antilia. The sate government has asked an officer of the rank of a secretary to carry out the investigation. Probe ordered by state urban development minister Bhaskar Jadhav, shall also be initiated against the civic body that has shown immense ‘generosity at the cost of public convenience’.

Senior civic officials however, said the controversy was being blown out of proportion. According to them the was resolved at a meeting between BMC commissioner Subodh Kumar and Ambani late last year. “If investigations prove that illegal work did take place on the setback plot, we will take action and remove the contentious portions,” Jadhav said.

The Ambani group had in May 2010 handed over 309.31 sq m of road setback to the corporation in lieu of additional floor space index (FSI). The setback was sought to widen the 18.30m-wide Altamount Road. The corporation however did not proceed with the widening. In the meantime, Antilla carried out ‘illegal’ beautification on the setback, including laying out a lawn, constructing a bund wall, a staircase and a security cabin. At a meeting between Ambani and Kumar, it was decided that since the BMC could not put the area to good use, it be handed over to Antilia Commercial Pvt Ltd for beautification on the condition that the civic body could cancel the allotment ”on its discretion”.

On being served a notice, the Antilia management clarified that it had constructed a security wall to prevent public car parking in front of two gates of the building, and the grass was planted as a minor beautification measure. It was decided at the Ambani-Kumar meeting that the civic body would levy Rs 2.82 lakh as ‘pay and park charges’ and another 1.7 lakh as rent every year. “What is the harm if we get Rs 5 lakh every year for land which is of no use to us in the near future? Once we get the remaining setback on this road, the land will be taken back and put to use,” said a senior civic official.




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