His team is doing great in IPL, for a change. And he is very much top of the tree in the film industry. If there’s an Achilles’ heel troubling Shah Rukh Khan, it’s on the home front.
After sending a notice to the Bollywood superstar for environmental violations at his Bandra Bandstand bungalow Mannat in October last year, Mumbai Pollution Control Board (MPCB) claims the actor and his architect did not furnish documents pertaining to coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearances when they were inspecting the place.
Activist Amit Maru claims King Khan refused to give the documents despite carrying out construction in CRZ area.
According to documents (available with MiD DAY) from MPCB, the inspection carried out by the officials at Mannat on November 30, 2011, Khan and his architect did not provide the documents pertaining to the clearances received from the coastal authority, as well as the local civic body’s property clearance card. The officials also stated in their report that the nearly 20,000-sq metre seven-storey property was in CRZ.
“The CRZ mapping, demarcation of high tide and low tide lines, as well as the development plan of the municipal authority was not available. But during inspection it was clear that the land is in CRZ and thereby they should have had clearances from the respective authority. But they did not give it to the officials, which is violation of section 10(3) of the Environment Protection Act, 1986,” informed Amit Maru, the complainant.
Also, the building has a swimming pool with Ozonation-treatment facility, which is directly connected to the municipal drainage system, the officials mentioned in the report. “Shah Rukh Khan, who claims to be law-abiding and who professes to follow the law, should not have defied the government authorities. Surprisingly, the authorities too did not use their coercive powers and force, even though they had the right under section 10 to do so,” Maru added.
Incidentally, on March 19, Supreme Court had dismissed a plea by Maru and activist Simpreet Singh alleging gross violations of environmental and archaeological laws in the construction of Mannat, saying a pick-and-choose policy cannot be used to nail celebrities.
Despite repeated attempts to get in touch with Valsa Nair Singh, principal secretary of the state government’s environment department, she remained unavailable for comment. Shah Rukh Khan and his associates too could not be reached for reactions.
On March 12, 2009 Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) had decided to issue a legal notice to SRK under section 5 of Environment Protection Act (EPA), 1986,
asking him to respond with details, after a complaint lodged by Amit Maru. Maru cited several allegations such as violations, including of coastal regulation, during the construction of Mannat. Several CRZ contraventions were alleged, like the land was reserved for an art gallery as per the development plan of 1990, and changed to residential allegedly without environment clearance and MCZMA approval. Despite Mannat being a heritage building, two structures were allegedly demolished without environment clearance and a seven-storey building was constructed without permission from MCZMA.
Permissions to construct a swimming pool and double-level basement parking was allegedly given without checking permissions for the change in reservation and the building construction.