Paving the way for reconstruction of Govinda Tower, the seven-storey building that crashed in August 1998 killing 37 people, the Bombay high court on Thursday rejected objections raised by two residents over its reconstruction plans.
A division bench of justice Sharad Bobde and justice Mridula Bhatkar was hearing a petition filed by eight residents of the building seeking that reconstruction of the building be hastened, and initiating criminal proceedings against civic and government officers indirectly responsible for the crash.
Acting on their plea, the court had earlier appointed senior advocate Praveen Samdani as mediator after which parties arrived at a settlement. However, on the last date of the hearing on the petition, two of the petitioners – Hardik Rathod and Pradeep Dabholkar – refused to sign on the consent terms.
The court, on Thursday, rejected their objections saying there had been a huge delay in redevelopment and survivors of the building crash were now left with little hope. The court also directed the civic body to expedite processing of various applications filed by the AA Estate Pvt. Ltd., which has accepted responsibility of redeveloping the area.
The dispute primarily revolved around sharing ownership between Dilip Datwani, one of the partners of the firm that had constructed the seven-storey structure, and builder Jairam Chawla.