Nirav Modi’s seaside bungalow demolished with explosives
The sprawling seaside bungalow of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, accused in the USD 2 billion PNB fraud case, was demolished with explosives on Friday.
Raigad District Collector Vijay Suryawanshi had issued the demolition orders after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) handed over the property situated near Kihim beach in Alibaug, Raigad district.
The 33,000 square foot property, which includes a swimming pool and expensive fittings, is reportedly worth around Rs 100 crore.
Earlier this week, excavators were used to open up the pillars of the ‘Roopanya’ bungalow to make space for fixing the detonators.
The ED had sealed the property in connection with the ongoing probe last year, following which the state government had sought nod to demolish the structure.
While the fixtures from the 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.
On January 25, district officials began the demolition work using bulldozers. However, work was halted after realising that it would take months to take down the RCC construction using conventional means.
Two days later, structural engineers from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Technical University conducted a survey and suggested that the district officers carry out the demolition with the help of controlled blasting.
Modi’s bungalow was attached by the ED following his involvement in the Punjab National Bank fraud case. It was handed over to the collector’s office on January 24, after the ED seized two trucks full of valuables from the building.
The demolition was ordered following a Bombay High Court order on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by non-profit Shamburaje Yuva Kranti in 2009, demanding action against illegal bungalows, hotels & resorts along the beaches of Raigad.
According to reports, the bungalow was built illegally and violated both the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) and state norms.