Bhojwani is also embroiled in a land tussle with veteran actor Dilip Kumar, whose wife Saira Banu has alleged Bhojwani is trying to grab their ₹250-crore property in Pali Hill, Bandra(HT FILE)
Bhojwani is also embroiled in a land tussle with veteran actor Dilip Kumar, whose wife Saira Banu has alleged Bhojwani is trying to grab their ₹250-crore property in Pali Hill, Bandra(HT FILE)

Mumbai society approaches civic body against builder over irregularities

Residents say Sameer Bhojwani, who is in a land tussle with Dilip Kumar, flouted FSI, fire norms
By Eeshanpriya M S | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON DEC 21, 2018 01:17 AM IST

A resident of Apsara Housing Society in Bandra has submitted a letter to the commissioner of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), alleging builder Sameer Bhojwani had committed serious irregularities when he constructed the society’s building. Bhojwani is also embroiled in a land tussle with veteran actor Dilip Kumar, whose wife Saira Banu has alleged Bhojwani is trying to grab their 250-crore property in Pali Hill, Bandra. Apsara Housing Society shares a wall with Saira Banu’s bungalow in the vicinity.

Niranjan Shetty, a resident of Apsara Housing Society, met municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta on Thursday and submitted a letter asking Mehta to act against Bhojwani for committing floor space index (FSI) and fire safety violations, while constructing the building for the society.

Shetty has also alleged there is an illegal lease deed between the builder and the flat owners. “Illegally executing lease deeds to grab land is the modus operandi of this builder,” Shetty said. He added, “An inquiry was conducted by an officer of the deputy registrar’s office in 2003, based on complaints from residents about irregularities in finances of the building. This inquiry concluded that the lease deed for this plot was executed illegally.”

Imtiyaz Malkani, one of the committee members of Apsara Housing Society, said, “We are trying to find the exact nature and quantity of violations.” In his letter, Shetty has also alleged violations in five other societies, also in Bandra, built by Bhojwani. However, HT could not independently confirm this claim.

Bhojwani has rubbished the allegations made against him. “The building does not have these discrepancies. I have all documents in place to prove otherwise. None of the committee members of this society have an issue with me,” Bhojwani told HT. However, politician Priya Dutt, who is a former resident of Apsara Housing Society, said there were illegalities in the building’s construction.

“When I lived there, I fought the builder tooth and nail, along with a few residents of the society for illegalities on the plot and the building. He [Bhojwani] has carried out grave violations in the building,” said Dutt. Another Bandra resident also claimed Bhojwani’s projects had irregularities. Rehan Ahmedji, a resident of Solitaire building which adjoins Apsara Housing Society, said, “We have been complaining to the BMC’s vigilance department about the illegalities in Apsara building, as this building has encroached our building’s compound wall. The builder has violated every rule, and constructed the pillars of that building in our compound.”

Previously, Saira Banu had alleged that a slab at the plinth level of Apsara Housing Society rests illegally on the compound wall of her bungalow. “In case of a fire, there is no place for a fire tender to approach the building or my house, because of this violation,” she said. Banu has alleged Bhojwani has been harassing the couple for years and also accused the BMC of ignoring this construction and fire safety violations, despite repeated complaints from her.

Speaking on behalf of Kumar and Banu, lawyer Chirag Shah alleged that Bhojwani had forged title documents to show himself to be the owner of Kumar’s bungalow, which was purchased by the actor in 1953 against a payment of 1.40 lakh. “The property card of the plot still bears Dilip Kumar’s name. The bungalow was purchased by the actor. Bhojwani forged documents to show himself as the owner,” said Shah.

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