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BMC demolished floors over our heads, say residents of building in way of Mumbai airport runway

Residents complained that neither the BMC nor the developer fixed the roof after the demolition

mumbai Updated: Aug 18, 2017 09:49 IST
Geetanjali Gurlhosur
Geetanjali Gurlhosur
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,Funnel zone,Flight path
Residents of Sunita building in Santacruz make do with a tarpaulin roof.(Shashi S Kashyap )

From being tagged as height norm violators to living through demolition of top three floors, residents of Sunita building in Santacruz (West) have been facing distress for around a year. Of more than 40 buildings in an airport runway’s funnel zone, Sunita residential building, formerly six-storeys high, is the only one to have undergone demolition so far.

According to residents, the civic body started taking down three floors that violated the height norms in August 2016 and finished work in May 2017. Kamal Arora, a resident of the building for the last 40 years, said, “For about 10 months, the BMC was demolishing floors on top of our heads. There was no water or electricity for days as they damaged some utility lines."

Residents complained that neither the BMC nor the developer fixed the roof after the demolition. A tarpaulin sheet was used to stop rainwater from seeping down. "The debris was removed after several complaints to the BMC. The work was done so shoddily that the debris was obstructing our doorways for days," added Arora.

An official from BMC’s building and factory department said, "The court ordered immediate action on this building in August 2016. It took some time to finish the work because residents were refusing to vacate the top floors."

Vivek Sadavarte, another resident, said the developer, Ramesh Haria, had assured the residents that there would be no demolition. "Affected families were told to vacate with no prior notice," he said.

Haria told HT, "I got permissions for 6 floors when I revamped the 50 -year-old building in 2012. Two years ago, I was told the top floors are in violation. Why hasn't the BMC taken action against the other buildings in the area?"

"The building will be fixed and the pending water work will be taken up after monsoon," Haria added.

Krishna Hegde, former legislator, blamed the ward office and factory department for loopholes. "The BMC should have checked for these irregularities. Residents are now living in constant fear of losing their houses," he said.

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 09:45 IST