Nirav Modi’s Alibaug Bungalow Razed Using Over 30 Kg Explosives

The sprawling 30,000 sq ft villa is being demolished as it violates CRZ norms and state permit.

Updated
India
3 min read

Video Producer: Hera Khan

Video Editor: Vishal Kumar

The sprawling seaside mansion of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, accused in the $2 billion PNB fraud case, was demolished on Friday, 8 March, using explosives, Raigad District Collector Vijay Suryawanshi confirmed.

The demolition was carried out in a controlled blasting, using over 30 kg explosives. Excavators were used to open up the pillars of the bungalow, called ‘Roopanya’, to make space for fixing the detonators. A special technical team was called to fix them, PTI had reported.

Last year, the state government had written to the ED, which had sealed the bungalow, seeking a nod to demolish the property on Kihim beach near Alibaug.

Authorities had said that the over 30,000 sq ft luxury bungalow was to be demolished as it, and the garden outside the bungalow, violated the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) norms and state permits.

Workers drill holes into the pillar to plant the dynamites.
Workers drill holes into the pillar to plant the dynamites.
(Photo: The Quint)
“Initially, this bungalow was regularised by my predecessor collectors long back in 2011 but I again asked permission for review. I got the permission from my divisional commissioner to review the order and then we conducted hearings. We gave them almost three hearings and opportunities to put up their matter and after that I have issued orders of demolition.”
Vijay Suryavanshi, Raigad collector

Suryavanshi added that, “The entire structure is unauthorised because it falls under CRZ and they also violated Maharashtra Regional Town planning (MRTP) Act.”

A portion of the villa being razed.
A portion of the villa being razed.
(Photo: The Quint)
The bungalow is situated on Kihim beach.
The bungalow is situated on Kihim beach.
(Photo: The Quint)

Efforts to demolish the bungalow had been going on for over a month. However, even the heavy machinery used for demolition had proved ineffective in dismantling the strong foundation of the villa.

To speed up the process, authorities decided to carry out the controlled explosion.

“For the last two-three days, we have been exposing the pillars that are all concealed because all the dynamites have to be fitted in the pillars. There are around 14 pillars there and dynamites will be fitted on all of them and then wiring will be done. We are trying to do this in a way that the entire bungalow comes down in one shot.”
Vijay Suryavanshi, Raigad collector 

In December, the Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court that it had ordered the demolition of the illegal bungalow and about a month later in January 2019, the building was handed over to the Collector’s office.

Valuables from the villa have been seized by the Enforcement Directorate.

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, Suryawanshi said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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