Civic body issued a notice on Feb 1 to Vakratunda Group after they added extra walls and a canteen; builders say their architect was travelling and therefore couldn’t inform officials on time
It seems that builders are not ready to learn from the recent building collapses, which occurred due to tampering structures or putting additional burden on existing buildings.
According to the BMC, the builders had not submitted any changes of the structural plans and went ahead with the construction
While the BMC imposes strict rules when it comes to meddling with approved plans or adding walls, a builder of a Goregaon-based commercial project added three extra walls in their ninth floor, to create more office space than permitted by the floor plan approved by the civic body.
Vakratunda Corporate Park in Goregaon (East). Pic/Shadab Khan
The builders, Vakratunda Group, also constructed a canteen on the terrace of the building, Vakratunda Corporate Park, which is considered a compulsory open space by the BMC that cannot be encroached.
The officials received a tip from an anonymous source, and the P-south Ward issued a notice on February 1. After receiving no communication from the builders, they demolished the additional structures that were not part of the approved plan.
The demolition took place on Tuesday, from 12 noon to 3 pm, during which they removed the three extra walls along with the canteen on the terrace. The corporate park, standing tall in Goregaon (East), comprises of nine floors and 70 offices. It was built a year ago and all offices, except the ninth floor, were soon occupied. According to a source from the group, the ninth floor, with two offices of 1,000 square metre each had to be divided into four to meet the demands of an investor, and therefore, the walls were constructed.
According to the regulations, a builder requires approval from the BMC regarding any changes made in the structural plan. However, it seems that the group feared losing their investor and went ahead with the changes without an approval. Speaking to MiD DAY, Ramakant Biradar, ward officer of P-south ward said, “Any alteration to a building should be reported to the BMC, which the builders did not. They also encroached the open space of the terrace.
We put up a notice on Saturday as they weren’t available at that time, and after receiving no response, we demolished it on the third day.” He added, “They can re-construct the walls after submitting the new structural plans and getting approval. However, the canteen cannot be opened on the terrace.”
The Other Side
The spokesperson representing Vakratunda Group stated, “We never intended to break any rules. The only reason why this issue happened was because our architect was travelling when the investor approached us. Had he been in the city, this situation wouldn’t have happened. We have always been honest with our work and believe in delivering quality with complete sincerity.”