Files on various permissions and certificates given to 74 buildings in 2008 have been missing for the last two years from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) H West ward office that covers Bandra, Khar and Santacruz.
The state’s chief information commissioner had in 2009 asked the civic body to find and restore the lost files, but they have not been located yet.
Right to Information (RTI) activist Aftab Siddiqui obtained information about the exact number of files missing from the ward office after records of the building she lives in, in Khar, were found to have been lost.
“A total of 74 files were lost from one ward, which has around 5,000 buildings. The files are important,” Siddiqui said.
The files may contain information on the legal status of buildings and documents such as commencement certificates, occupation certifications and permissions and plans related to construction and occupation.
“Many of the buildings are not even 10 years old. What does a resident do when the local authority has no record to prove if a building he/she is staying in is legal or not or even if exists or not,” asked Siddiqui.
She said officers concerned he had told her that work on restoring files was yet to begin.
When contacted, Ratnakar Hardas, deputy chief engineer, building proposals department, western suburbs, said, “I am not currently aware about the exact issue. I will check the records.”
The state information commissioner’s 2009 order had said the municipal commissioner should restore the lost files by taking necessary action under the Maharashtra Public Records Act, 2005.
The civic commissioner had then given an assurance that the files would be restored in a year’s time, with the help of records from sources like architects for building proposals, the civic building and factory department and the water department.
Siddiqui said she had also applied for information on files pertaining to the years 2009 and 2010 but had not got the lists yet.