There are 323 buildings in the Bandra-Andheri belt that do not have Occupation Certificates (OC), but the civic body has asked residents of only 12 of those buildings to vacate the premises.
Residents of Paradise Heights in Oshiwara used the Right to Information (RTI) Act to get access to this information after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) sent them an eviction notice in March as their building does not have an OC.
Residents of the 11-storeyed building are now demanding that the BMC’s civic building proposal department withdraw the eviction notice it has sent to them.
The OC is a certificate given by the BMC that allows the owners of a newly constructed property to occupy it.
It is issued after the owner or the builder completes all legal formalities under the city’s Development Control (DC) rules.
“Why is the civic body asking residents of selective buildings to vacate their houses? Using the RTI Act, we learnt that of the 676 new building proposals received between April 2009 and March 2011, only 353 buildings have received OCs in the H and K wards. This means nearly half or 48% of these buildings don’t have OCs. But only 12 buildings were issued eviction notices,” said Mohammad Afzal, an RTI activist who helped the residents file the RTI.
The notice asks residents to not reoccupy it until it is certified by a licenced surveyor. If residents fail to do this, action will be initiated, it said.
Atya Sheikh, secretary of Paradise Heights, said: “We have been living here since 2005. Abruptly, the BMC sent us an eviction notice. This notice should be withdrawn immediately.”
Sheikh said the building had not got the OC as “the builder has not completed work pertaining to the elevator, as required under the DC rules”.
“My wife is a cancer patient and in delicate health. This notice has really upset her,” said resident Shaharyar Khan. “The notice should be withdrawn and the building should be given the OC.”
Ratnakar Hardas, deputy chief engineer, building proposals, offers an explanation. “The department must have received a complaint with regard to this building, due to which the notice must have been issued,” he said.
“However, I will look into the matter,” Hardas added.