New panel to check stability of Esplanade MansionUpdated: Dec 04, 2019 00:32 IST
The Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday appointed a new committee to assess the condition of the Esplanade Mansion at Fort, after the landlord and tenants claimed the building was not as dilapidated as claimed in the IIT-Bombay’s report. The next hearing is scheduled on December 18.
HC had in April ordered Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) to carry out repair or restoration of the structure. A division bench of justices SJ Kathawalla and BP Colabawalla was informed on Tuesday that after their April order, another order had directed IIT-B to examine the structural stability of the building. The court was hearing Mhada’s plea seeking relief from following the April order, as the IIT-B report had recommended demolition of the building.
However, the landlord and tenants of the building and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) objected to Mhada’s claim and submitted that the IIT-B report had several flaws and the building could be repaired and restored.
Taking note of the divergent views, the bench appointed an independent committee comprising Chetan Raikar, structural engineer (IIT-Kanpur); Abha Narain Lambha, conservation architect; and Vikas Dilawari, conservation architect. The committee has been asked to inspect the building, carry out all necessary tests to assess its structural stability and submit its report to the court. The bench also directed the petitioners to hand over all documents and reports to the committee and asked the committee to submit its estimation of the cost of repairs and restoration, if it could be done.