With buildings in the city crumbling like sandcastles, even the deputy leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha must conform when an assistant engineer of BMC asks him to stick to construction regulations. The civic authority, eager to clear up unsanctioned additions made in a property owned by Gopinath Munde, finally prevailed after he apparently divested it of all changes the BMC deemed unapproved.
Munde had received a notice from the BMC’s building proposal (BP) department, which stated that his workplace in Shubhada building, located on Sir Pochkanwala Road in Worli, is not authorised for use as an office, as it had been approved for the purposes of a shop. The April notice stated that certain illegalities had been carried out in shop no 15 in the building, which is owned by him.
According to sources, the politician from Beed first tried to swing things in his favour. But when the pull did not work, he finally fell in line and asked his men to remove all illegal elements from the structure, and keep only those parts that have been approved.
The notice, a copy of which is available with MiD DAY, is signed by assistant engineer M Borikar of the building proposal department. It states, “It has been reported to me that you have commenced, undertaken or carried out development without required permissions, and it is not in accordance with the approved plan of the building passed by the MCGM.”
The notice further states, “You are hereby called upon to remove the unauthorised addition, alteration and amalgamation.” When contacted, Borikar refused to comment on the issue. His senior Rajeev Kuknur, chief engineer of BP department, also did not answer our phone calls.
According to sources, Munde, one of the most influential leaders in the state of Maharashtra, first tried to use his contacts to have the changes regularised, but since the building is in the tightly-governed coastal regulatory zone (CRZ), things did not pan out the way he had imagined. As a last resort, he decided to follow the rules, sources said.
A spokesperson for Munde said, “The illegalities are being removed. The banner has been taken off from the front of the shop and those working on the shop are following the rules. Everything will be as per the building proposal’s notice; things will be as the BMC directs.”