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Owner gets nod to repair 4-storey building in Mumbai’s Pydhonie, constructs 10-storey tower

The plot owner took Mhada’s permission to undertake structural repairs and constructed 10 floors in a span of two months; BMC says the structure is illegal

mumbai Updated: Jun 25, 2018 10:40 IST
Eeshanpriya MS
Eeshanpriya MS
Hindustan Times
Laxmi Niwas, the four-storey dilapidated building on Narsinath street in Pydhonie.(/HT Photo)

In a span of two months, a four-storey dilapidated building on Narsinath street in Pydhonie has turned into an under-construction skyscraper. It has come to the civic body’s notice that the 10-storey under-construction building Laxmi Niwas in Pydhonie is completely illegal.

Laxmi Niwas was originally a four-storey dilapidated residential cess building until March 2018, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The owner of the plot took Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority’s (Mhada) permission to undertake structural repairs on it. However, under the guise of these repairs, he razed the building to the ground, and began to reconstruct it, managing to complete construction of 10 floors by in a span of two months, by May 2018, according to the BMC.

The developers of the building have denied that they razed and reconstructed the building.

Repairs and reconstruction of cessed buildings are dictated by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Act of 1976, under the purview of Mhada.

The BMC sent five stop-work noticesto Laxmi Niwas between March 13 — when the civic body first noticed the illegal building — and May 3.

Assistant commissioner of B ward, Udaykumar Shirurkar, said, “Despite the notices, the owner of the plot continued construction till the end of May, completing 10 floors, in violation of the stop-work notices, and a court order we have secured for maintaining status quo, when the building was only five-storey tall.”

Shirurkar said, “The moment any builder razes a building to the ground, the new building has to follow rules of the latest Development Plan. It needs a fresh intimation of disapproval, occupation certificate, and all related construction permits.”

However, Shabbir Patel, one of the developers of the building, denied that it is illegal.

He said, “We are not reconstructing it, and we did not raze it to the ground. We are undertaking only structural repairs, on the original building, as Mhada has permitted. We have submitted our replies to court against all BMC notices.” Patel also denied violation of the court order. “No construction has happened since the court order. Right now we are doing only patchwork repair.”

The BMC has lodged a first information report (FIR) against the owner, Akramal Najibul Sarkar, for unauthorised construction under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act.

According to an official of B ward, the BMC first noticed on March 13 that a four-storey building had been razed to the ground, and was being reconstructed. The civic body wrote to Mhada for clarification regarding the status of the building, a B ward official said. On March 20, Mhada replied to the civic body (a copy of which is with HT) that it had given permission only for structural repairs to the building. Any ongoing construction work is illegal. According to the letter, the no-objection certificate (NOC) given to the building for structural repairs expired on March 22. “Mhada informed us that it was undertaking no development work at the site,” Shirurkar said.

According to documents assessed by HT, the BMC sent the first notice to the building and demolished one floor completelyon March 21. At that time, this was the only constructed floor.

By April 11, just 20 days after the BMC had issued the first stop-work notice, it issued a second stop-work notice as the owner had constructed five more floors of the building, documents reveal. The BMC then secured a court order directing the owner to maintain status quo, Shirurkar said.

He said, “Despite the court order, by April 16, only four days later, the owner had constructed the sixth floor, by April 28 he had constructed the seventh floor, by May 3 he had constructed the eighth floor. We continued to issue stop-work notices, on all these dates. As of May end, the building is 10-storey tall.”

The BMC has informed the court about the continued construction, Shirurkar said.

First Published: Jun 25, 2018 10:31 IST