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Civic chief to file report over SoBo tenanted building

Civic officials failed to comply with earlier court orders and put the residents of Bhatia building at risk.

mumbai Updated: May 24, 2018 23:52 IST
Kanchan Vasant Chaudhari
Kanchan Vasant Chaudhari
Hindustan Times
BMC,South Mumbai,SoBo
Bombay Municipal corporation headquarters in Mumbai(HT Photo)

Municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta on Thursday assured the Bombay high court that he would look into civic official’s purported failure to comply with earlier court orders and thereby endanger the lives of the tenants of a building in South Mumbai. The civic chief also assured Justice SJ Kathawalla that he would file his report by May 29 over the issue.

Justice Kathawalla had earlier directed Mehta to remain present in court on Thursday morning after noticing that civic officials failed to comply with earlier court orders and put the residents of Bhatia building at risk.

The court was hearing a plea filed by the tenants of the building who complained that the landlord had dug up the foundation of its A block in an attempt to build a mezzanine floor in a ground-floor flat. They alleged that in the attempt, the landlord has damaged the foundation of the block, which now posed a grave threat to the life and property of the tenants.

It was only after the court issued the necessary order, action was taken by authorities and the landlord and the contractor were arrested, and restoration of the foundation work commenced. Subsequently the tenants pointed out that cracks had developed along the rear-side walls of B, C and D blocks of the building - purportedly because of excavation work within four meters of the compound wall of Bhatia building. This prompted the court to pass further orders to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation officials to forthwith stop the excavation and re-fill the area.

Justice Kathawalla was irked to note on May 23 that the civic officials had done nothing pursuant to the May 16 order, except to write a letter to the contractor excavating soil near Bhatia Building and that too belatedly on May 21.

The judge was further annoyed to note that the executive engineer of BMC did not remain present in court on May 23 and instead sent an assistant engineer, who could not explain why the excavation work was not stopped immediately, and had to eventually summon the civic chief.

Accordingly, Mehta remained present in high court on Thursday and assured the judge that he will look into the matter and submit his report soon.

First Published: May 24, 2018 23:51 IST