The can of worms behind the illegal Artham building has been opened. Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has revealed that it never gave any approvals to supply electricity to the six-storeyed Artham building at Kalbadevi. MiD DAY had reported about how the commercial building, located in Shekhadi Lane at Kalbadevi, had come up without necessary permissions from the BMC (‘Another Campa Cola in the making’, November 1).
According to authorities at BEST, the builder had applied for a connection, but the application was rejected because the structure didn’t have the necessary permissions from the civic body. “We received a request for electric supply and we demanded to see the building permissions.
Since they couldn’t submit the required documents, we denied an electric meter to the building,” said S R Khedkar, deputy general manager, BEST. However, the building does have power supply, which it has been using illegally.
BEST has sent a show-cause notice to the developer. “We have sent them a notice and will wait for two weeks for their reply. If we get none, we will take further action,” added Khedkar. Even the water department of the BMC has checked their records and found that they hadn’t sanctioned supply to Artham.
The structure comes under the jurisdiction of the C-ward, which has recommended that power and water supply to the building be disconnected. Sangeeta Hasnale, assistant municipal commissioner of the C-ward, who gave the order said, “Our officers will inspect the building. If it is found to have illegal water supply, we will disconnect it.”
Artham came up in 2011and the BMC had been receiving complaints about its status. A demolition notice was issued and subsequently, three floors were punctured. But after a court injunction prevented further action, the developer, Girish Jain, went ahead and reconstructed the demolished levels.
Today, the building still stands tall with about 100 commercial shops using illegal electricity, and possibly unauthorised water supply. Jain refused to comment on the matter.