The alleged encroachment by a 72-year-old shop owner Arvind Sanghvi on the premises of Woodland Society in Malad (W) has become a matter of grave concern for the other residents of the society.
The society members allege that illegal modification made by Sanghvi to the hardware store have led to the formation of cracks in the flats located above the shop, which has put lives of 29 people at risk.
The 72-year-old was accused of demolishing a wall supporting the 30-year-old structure to establish his shop.
“After my husband’s death in 2002, Sanghvi immediately demolished the wall supporting our building. It’s been 11 years since and my house has developed cracks. Over these years the condition of my flat has worsened,” said Alpaben Vora, whose flat is located right above Sanghvi’s shop.
The society members said they even lodged a complaint against Sanghvi at the P-north ward office following which he was served notice thrice: February 21, April 16 and April 30.
But they alleged that apart from issuing notices, the civic officials have not taken any action against Sanghvi.
Manisha Parab, society secretary, said the officials only gave assurances.
“Several people have asked me to stay away from the matter and Sanghvi even offered money through a third party. I’m not doing it to gain publicity. The lady stays alone with her kids and hence the society members are helping her. Moreover, the space he has encroached upon belongs to the society. We wrote to officials at the BMC headquarters on August 7 and are waiting for their reply,” she said.
Devendra Jain, assistant municipal commissioner for P-north ward, said, “We are trying our best to solve the society’s problem. Action would be initiated soon. The matter is almost solved.”
The other side
Commenting on behalf of his father, Mitesh Sanghvi said, “There is some kind of misunderstanding among the society members. We don’t argue with the secretary because she’s a lady. Soon, we’ll be meting them to clear the misunderstanding.”