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SIT chief arrives in Noida for collusion probe in Supertech twin towers case, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate

SIT chief arrives in Noida for collusion probe in Supertech twin towers case, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate
NOIDA: The head of the special investigation team (SIT) tasked with probing collusion between Noida Authority officials and Supertech in the construction of the Emerald Court twin towers arrived in the city on Monday and heard presentations on the findings of Noida’s internal inquiries that go back to the mid-2000s.

The three other members of the SIT are expected in the city by Tuesday, sources said. The state government has asked the SIT, headed by Sanjiv Mittal, to submit its report within a week.

The SIT was formed after the Supreme Court on August 31 ordered the demolition of the twin towers and observed there was collusion between officials of the Noida Authority and the developer in the buildings being constructed in violation of law. The court also directed the prosecution of erring officials. At the heart of the SIT probe is Noida’s approval to the twin towers’ amended plans on three different occasions – in December 2006, November 2009 and March 2012 – which paved the way for the eventually 40-storey Apex and Ceyane.

Presentations on the inquiries were made to Mittal, who is infrastructure and industries development commissioner as well as Noida Authority chair and head of the state vigilance commission, by half a dozen senior officials of the Noida Authority, including CEO Ritu Maheshwari. Sources said the focus of the presentations was the period between 2009 and 2012 when the height of the towers was increased twice.

Mittal, according to the sources, asked officials to share the findings in two sittings. While the first sitting took place from 12.30pm to 2pm, the second began at 5.30pm. Other than the CEO and both additional CEOs, the officer on special duty for group housing and general manager of the planning division were called for the meeting. Since sanctions and approvals to the amended building plans of the twin towers were accorded through office orders, Mittal and other officials also discussed what procedure would be adopted in determining culpability.

An officer who participated in the meeting said drawings and maps of the entire layout of Emerald Court along with that of the twin towers will be scanned again. “The site plan and the floor plan of the apartment blocks of April 2008, September 2009 and June 2012 are being scanned. We are checking what measurements were provided in the revised plans. Distance between Tower 1 (Aster 2) and Tower 16 (Apex) in the Emerald Court project that is mentioned on the plan will be verified. In case we see that distance provided between towers 1 and 16 have been changed repeatedly and do not match with what we see at the site, culpability of the planning department will be easy to establish,” said the officer.

Additional chief secretary (rural development) Manoj Singh, additional director general (Meerut zone) Rajeev Sabharwal and chief town and country planner Anoop Kumar Srivastava are other members of the SIT. Sabharwal was present at the evening meeting at the Noida Authority.

Noida’s internal inquiry has named seven officials, five of whom have retired. One of the officials, former manager in the planning department Mukesh Goyal, was suspended last week by the government.


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