Mumbai tower to be torn down after graft scandal


A new 31-storey tower block in Mumbai is to be demolished after a graft scandal in which plans for a small building to house war widows ended up as luxury flats for politicians and army officers.

The environment ministry ordered the “Adarsh” tower, in an exclusive area of the city, to be pulled down within three months as it violated coastal protection laws.

Reports that politicians and officers had been able to buy the apartments at bargain prices had sparked outrage and forced the chief minister of Maharashtra state, Ashok Chavan, to resign in November.

“I have decided on removal of the entire structure as it is unauthorised and has obtained no clearance whatsoever under the Coastal Regulation zone notifications,” Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said in a statement Sunday.

The scandal is the latest to tarnish the reputation of the national government.

A telecoms scandal involving India’s ruling Congress Party led to weeks of parliamentary deadlock late last year.