An under-construction tower near Marine Drive, less than 5km from where the controversial Adarsh society stands, has been issued a stop-work notice for allegedly violating environmental and developmental control norms.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued the notice to Orbit Corporation’s Vasant Sagar building in late December 2010 after residents of the vicinity complained about irregularities in the proposed 14-storeyed structure located in a heritage precinct.
Only two floors of the building have been constructed so far.
“We will reply to the BMC’s stop-work notice by early next week. If necessary, we are ready to pay the penalty to get the construction regularised,” said Pujit Aggarwal, managing director and chief executive officer, Orbit Corporation.
The Federation of Churchgate Residents (FCR) found out, through a series of Right To Information (RTI) applications, that the developer had violated development control, coastal regulatory zone and heritage norms. “We found that the construction was irregular. He was building beyond the approved plan,” said Ashok Rao, president of the FCR.
Residents alleged that Orbit Corporation had permission to build six storeys but has applied for permission to build 14. This application is pending with the BMC.
The federation sent a legal notice to the BMC asking it to take cognisance of the violations and issue a stop-work notice until the problems are rectified.
Staff from the BMC’s building proposal department inspected the site and found that the construction being carried out was beyond the approved plan and issued the developer a stop-work notice.
“The constructed stilt height is 5.8metres as against the approved 3.30metres and the basement height is 4.50metres against the approved 3metres,” the notice said, a copy of which is with the Hindustan Times.
The approved plan, which the residents got under the RTI, shows that the builder had proposed a stilt parking facility but on the construction site, the first and the second floors were going to be used for parking. Vasant Sagar was initially leased to the Navy but later de-requisitioned.