For the past two months, residents and commercial occupants behind Colaba’s Regal Cinema have been living with the smell of rotten food.
A food store at a Bharat Petroleum (BP) petrol pump adjacent to Regal closed two months ago, but the owner left without clearing out the place. Residents say that perishable goods stocked inside the store called In and Out – raw meat, breads, frozen foods and milk products — have been decomposing.
Residents are also concerned about the potential health hazard. “We are sitting on a time bomb,” said S Vakil, joint honorary secretary of the neighbouring Suleman Chambers Co-operative Housing Society. “There is a danger of diseases which is only going to get worse in the summer.”
The petrol pump employees have sprayed a disinfectant around the store for now. “We have to constantly shut our windows. I had to give our watchman balm to use because he couldn’t bear the smell,” said Banoo Kalantary, another resident of Suleman Chambers.
Residents of the building have written to the civic body’s health department and the Colaba police station. “The civic body sent us to the police, who told us to go to the civic body. No one is taking any action,” said Vakil.
The neighbouring commercial establishments such as the Gordon House Hotel, Popli and Sons, Hotel Suba Palace and Regal Pharmacy have also signed the letter addressed to the police.
The store has been shut since its lease with the petrol pump ended on February 2. The BP dealer has written independent letters to the police, BP’s territory manager, the fire department and municipal authorities, but none have taken any action.
The assistant commissioner of police (Colaba Division), Iqbal Shaikh said, “It is a minor incident, and I have not received a complaint from the residents,” said Shaikh.