A few seconds was all it took to bring down the 30,000 sq ft seaside mansion of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, at Kihim beach in Maharashtra, on March 8, 2019. The bungalow was demolished using controlled blasting, Raigad district collector Vijay Suryawanshi said from the site, around 90 kms from Mumbai. A large amount of dust was seen coming from the structure as it collapsed during the controlled blasts.
The sprawling mansion of Modi, accused in the USD 2 billion PNB fraud case, was worth around Rs 40 crores, another official said. Suryawanshi issued the demolition orders after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) handed over the property. On March 5, 2019, excavators were used to open up the pillars of the ‘Roopanya’ bungalow, to make space for fixing the detonators, the senior IAS official said. The demolition of Nirav Modi’s bungalow will set the stage for a similar fate of three other bungalows in the coastal regulatory zone areas near Alibaug, an official said.
The fixtures from Modi’s bungalow will be up for auction. Three items, a jacuzzi, a chandelier and a Buddha statue, have been kept aside for handing over to the ED, the official said. The estimated cost of the jacuzzi is Rs 15 lakhs, the chandelier is worth Rs 20 lakhs and the Buddha statue cost may be around Rs 10 lakhs, a senior district administration official said.
Authorities begin razing Nirav Modi’s seaside Alibaug bungalow
The authorities in Raigad district, adjoining Mumbai, have started demolishing fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi’s mansion on Kihim beach in Alibaug, which was illegally built and flouted all environmental norms
January 25, 2019: The Raigad collectorate, on the afternoon of January 25, 2019, began demolishing Nirav Modi’s sprawling seaside mansion in Kihim in Alibaug. District collector Vijay Suryawanshi issued the demolition orders after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) handed over the property, situated in Raigad district, over 90 kilometres from Mumbai.
In 2018, the Maharashtra government wrote to the ED, which had sealed the fugitive diamantaire’s bungalow, seeking permission to demolish the illegally-built property on Kihim beach.
Raigad collector Suryawanshi said the bungalow was illegally built and flouted all environmental norms. “We have begun proceedings to demolish all 202 illegal bungalows in Alibaug and Murud tehsil,” he said.
Nirav Modi’s ‘illegal’ bungalow in Alibaug to be razed: Maharashtra government
Maharashtra’s environment minister has given the order to demolish an ‘illegal’ bungalow of fugitive diamond trader and PNB scam accused Nirav Modi, situated in Alibaug, in Raigad district
August 22, 2018: Authorities have been directed to demolish the ‘illegal’ bungalow of fugitive diamond trader and PNB scam accused Nirav Modi, situated in Raigad district, a Maharashtra minister said, on August 21, 2018, days after the High Court pulled up the state government, for not taking action against it. Environment minister Ramdas Kadam gave the demolition order, after presiding over a review meeting on illegal bungalows built in the adjoining coastal district, with Raigad collector Vijay Suryawanshi, at the state secretariat.
Suryawanshi said one of the ‘illegal’ bungalows in the district, belongs to Mehul Choksi, a diamond trader and co-accused in the PNB scam but there was a court stay on its demolition, along with some other unauthorised buildings. “The government will request the court to vacate the stay granted on the demolition of illegal bungalows of Choksi and others, so that we go ahead and raze them too,” the collector said.
“In all, there are a total of 121 illegal bungalows in Alibaug and 151 illegal bungalows at Murud, in Raigad district. Some of these bungalows belong to film stars and industrialists. Today, I have asked the district collector of Raigad, to demolish the illegal bungalow of Nirav Modi, who has looted India and fled,” said Kadam. He was addressing the media after the review meeting held at Mantralaya (state secretariat). An official from the district collector’s office said Nirav Modi’s bungalow was in Kihim village, while that of Choksi was in Awas village in Alibaug, a coastal town popular as a weekend gateway for Mumbai residents. “The illegalities of these bungalows include violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms and additional construction,” the official said.
Of the 121 illegal bungalows in Alibaug, there is a court stay on 101 of them. Likewise, of the 151 illegal bungalows in Murud, there is a court stay on 61, the official from the collector’s office added. As of now, no action would be taken against illegal bungalows built by local residents, the minister said. The number of unauthorised bungalows built by local residents in Alibaug and Murud stood at 61 and 50 respectively, Kadam said. Suryawanshi said the government will be writing to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which has attached Nirav Modi’s bungalow, as part of its probe into the PNB scam, seeking permission for its demolition.
The bureaucrat said the earlier notices for demolition of illegal bungalows, were issued under the Maharashtra Region Town Planning Act in 2015. “However, we are now requesting the court to vacate the stay, as fresh notices have been issued (for their demolition) under the (more stringent) Environment Protection Act,” he said. Both the diamond traders, key accused in the mega banking scam, have fled India. On August 14, 2018, the Bombay High Court, while hearing a petition, had pulled up Maharashtra government officials for not taking action against the illegal bungalow of Nirav Modi. The HC had said it would direct the state government, to initiate an inquiry into the issue.