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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

314 files on buildings go ‘missing’ from civic body records

Kunal Purohit, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, May 24, 2013
First Published: 01:35 IST(24/5/2013) | Last Updated: 01:43 IST(24/5/2013)

The civic body has ‘lost’ files relating to a whopping 314 real estate projects, across various stages of completion, in the lucrative Bandra to Andheri belt. The files have gone missing from the building proposal department offices in these areas, over the last seven years.

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This information was revealed by an RTI application filed by activist Sharad Yadav.

These swish suburbs are home luxurious real estate projects, but the realty there is infamous for violations and illegalities. HT had recently reported how areas falling under the H West and K West wards (Bandra to Andheri)  had the highest number of unauthorised under-construction buildings.

According to procedure, the-re is a dedicated file for each proposed building, with every document related to it. The loss of such files means all the information on these buildings has been erased from civic records.

According to the Maharashtra Public Records Act, people resp-onsible for destroying or removing public records can face impri-sonment or Rs10,000 fine, or both.

Utsal Karani, secretary of NGO Janhit Manch said in most cases such disappearances of files were deliberate attempts to hide illegalities. “After receiving the occupation certificate, developers and architects often make illegal modifications to the structure. They work in collusion with the lower-level staff, who make the files ‘disappear.”

While Rajiv Kuknur, chief engineer, development plan department, was unavailable for comment, officials in the building proposals department (western suburbs) said, “We have initiated the procedure for filing police complaints on the missing files.”


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