In a last bid to save the Powai houseboats, the members of Maharashtra State Angling Association (MSAA) will soon apply for heritage status with the civic body for the houseboats.
There are 29 houseboats used by around 400 members of the MSAA, which came under the civic body radar, after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) corporator Avinash Sawant complained about commercial activities in the houseboats.
Gordon Rodricks, a member of the association said, “Houseboats were never rented for any commercial activities. We have complied with the earlier notices that Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had sent, we are planning to meet the officials and solve the matter amicably.”
Following municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte’s direction, S-ward had sent a demolition notice for the structures at Powai Lake on December 13 to the association.
After receiving the demolition notice, the association approached the court and obtained a stay order on the same till January 15. Now, members are planning to apply for heritage status for houseboats, which have existed for over 8 decades.
The section of the lake was leased out in 1987 to Maharashtra State Angling Association (MSAA) for fishing in Powai Lake. Hydraulic department carried out a survey in August this year, in which it was revealed that the lease expired in 1991.
Members informed that they have complied with the BMC’s notice of removing the canopy on the houseboats, toilets, among others. The survey had also pointed out that the boats discharged effluents directly into the lake. However, the members denied any such practices and alleged that the civic body is harassing them with a demolition notice instead of finding a solution. S-ward officer was not available for comment.