After several complaints by locals, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Saturday demolished the illegal ramp constructed adjoining actor Shah Rukh Khan’s bungalow ‘Mannat’ in Bandra west. The actor used to park his vanity van on the illegally constructed ramp that encroached upon public road and obstructed movement to the popular Mount Mary Basilica.The civic demolition squad along with heavy police force reached the spot at 8am and started demolition with the 2 earth movers along with 40 civic labourers and other machinery. The demolition process was stopped by 6.30pm but officials said it will continue to break the lower part of the ramp on Sunday.
Demolition in progress in front of Mannat.
Assistant Municipal commissioner of H west ward, Vijay Kamble said, "The ramp was constructed without the civic body’s permission and encroached upon public road. We served notice to the actor and gave a seven day time period to demolish it. However no action was taken by him, hence we decided to now take action with the help of police force. Since the ramp was heavily reinforced, it was also difficult and time consuming to complete the demolition." After repeated complaints from residents were ignored by civic officials, BJP MP Poonam Mahajan on January 29 had written to the municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte asking him to demolish the illegal structure. Kunte then directed the local ward office to take necessary action.
The ramp which is close to the backside gate of Mannat was 75 metres long. Locals had been complaining that the ramp led to difficulty in reaching the Mount Mary Basilica specially during the annual Bandra fair held every September. "We had written to the BMC over a dozen times but they did not pay heed to our letters. Finally after the MP’s interference we could see some action. This is a relief to hundreds of visitors and devotees of Mount Mary," said Nicholas Almeida, trustee, Watchdog Foundation, who had first taken up the issue in 2013. Almeida had also filed a nuisance lawsuit with the local court.
The foundation along with few citizen groups had also protested last year in August outside the actor’s bungalow.
A local resident, Anil Joseph said, “This is the easiest way to reach the church but the ramp restricted movement of public. Also last year, the road was closed by the security guards forcing public to take a different route.”
The civic body is also likely to recover the cost of demolition from the actor. “It is usually recovered from the party but we are yet to take a decision on it,” said Kamble.