The construction of a 61-storey structure on Eastern slopes of Cumballa Hill, being built under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) scheme has stopped after the developer, Halkara Builders Pvt Ltd, told the Bombay high court on Wednesday that it will not carry out any further work on the landslide-prone site.
The developer’s counsel Janak Dwarkadas made the statement after the division bench of justice DY Chandrachud and justice RD Dhanuka expressed their inclination towards staying the construction activity.
The court also directed the State Level Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) and the SRA to file affidavits in reply to the petition filed by Meher Apartments Co-operative Housing Society, which stands above the slopes on Eastern hill top of Cumballa Hill. The society challenged the validity of environment clearances granted for the scheme.
“We will not carry out any construction activity, except compacting work as a precautionary measure,” said Dwarkadas. The court has allowed the developer to complete the compacting work under the supervision of officials of the SRA.
Apart from apprehending grave threat to the structural stability of the buildings, the society has contended that the SEIAA was not informed about the fact that the project required large scale destruction of the hill slope.
Through the affidavit, the judges have sought from the SEIAA to disclose documents on the basis of which the authority granted environmental clearances for the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme which would require cutting of the hill slope.