For the past month the Institute for Exceptional Children (IEC) has been conducting its mental health counselling sessions for children in the corridors of a municipal school building on Topiwala Lane near Grant Road.
On February 5 the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) sealed the building out of which the IEC, a non-government organisation, operates. The BMC sad the building was dilapidated and unfit for use. Several other organisations also operated out of the same building.
The IEC has had to resort to the passageways because officials are refusing to let them use the alternative premises at Gilder Road that they had earlier provided them.
“All our computers, the records of our children are in the old premises which they have sealed and refuse to hand over to us,” said Esther Dubey, honorary executive and clinical director of the IEC. “And they aren’t accepting our rent towards the new premises either and have removed us from there too.”
The IEC began using the Topiwala Lane building in 1992. Since then the corporation has been renewing their agreement on a 12-month basis.
In October last year IEC received a notice asking them to vacate the premises, which they did last month. However, they are being denied of the alternative premises that they have been allotted.
“We don’t want to go to court, but there is a blame game going on between the officials on the issue and we have gotten caught in the middle,” said Dubey.
Two weeks ago the IEC wrote to the BMC requesting to at least have their property back from the old premises that have been sealed, but they are yet to receive anything.
Civic officials remained unavailable for comment, despite repeated calls.
Two non-profits, Dignity Foundation and EAR Society, which have also been operating out of the same premises, had earlier moved the city civil court for a stay order on the notice, while others had written to the municipal commissioner to look into the matter.