Shobha Barboza, 43, was cooking in the kitchen of her first-floor flat in Vasant Complex off Linking Road in Kandivli (West) last week when she saw workers building a parapet right outside her window. When she peeked outside, she found it was touching the building’s exterior wall.
The construction had been undertaken by the trustees of a temple situated adjacent to her building, and Barboza claims it is illegal. Work on it began in December last year when Arun Kejriwal and Arun Gurav, trustees of Shiv Shrushti Temple, decided to extend the roof of the temple, running parallel to the building.
Gurav, a former civil engineer with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), had assured Barboza that the construction won’t be obtrusive. “I told them I have a young daughter and that it [the parapet] invades my privacy. The workers can peep into my bedroom and bathroom. There is also a risk from robbers who can now easily break into my house,” she said, and added that Gurav went ahead with the construction despite her protests.
Barboza then wrote a complaint to the BMC, which though acknowledged at the R-ward office, evinced an ambiguous reply that all the officers were busy with election duty.
When the construction started nearing her bedroom, Barboza complained to the Charkop police on February 10. Police sub-inspector Shridhar Kalgutkar said, “I visited the site, clicked photographs, and wrote a panchnama. The trustees have not got permission from the BMC for the additional construction. We have notified the BMC, which will survey the site and take necessary action.”
Kejriwal, however, denied the charge. “We have all the requisite permissions from the civic body. The parapet is only a shed for elderly people visiting the temple,” he said. Kejriwal also expressed surprise at Barboza’s protests and said she had no problem with the construction till a few weeks ago.
Barboza said her greatest hurdle has been the lack of cooperation from the committee members of the society. “They are scared of him [Gurav]. He did not even bother to take permission from them, leave alone the BMC,” she said. When asked about the committee’s stand, Anand Sheth, a member of the housing society committee said, “What can we do about it? It is a personal matter.”