Murli Govind building at Khar (West) was declared dilapidated and in need of urgent repairs by the BMC in 2011. When the repair work of the building began in the first week of December, the civic body issued a stop-work notice claiming that unauthorised work was going on in the building.
The stop-work notice was issued for not acquiring permission from the BMC’s building proposal department to carry out repair work on the pillars. Since the BMC declared the building unsafe, the residents have been living in constant fear of the building collapsing.
Needs structural repairs
The structure was constructed in 1965 with ground-plus-three floors. Four additional floors were built in 2003. The support pillars for these extra floors were erected outside the building. The inside pillars of the building are in a dilapidated condition and in need of repairs. The residents admitted to have delayed the repair work due to lack of funds and slated the work for December. They have been writing to the BMC for the necessary permissions since August this year but did not receive any reply from them.
Secretary of the building, Girish Jadwani, said, “We have been writing to the BMC for the past few months now. Earlier, we wrote to the H-West ward office, requesting permission to begin the repairs, but for this we did not get any reply. When we asked them on what grounds they issued a stop-work notice to us, they replied that we did not have permission from the civic authority’s building proposal department.
“We insisted that we had issued a letter to the ward office but they replied saying that this was not in their jurisdiction. How can a BMC officer claim that this is not in their jurisdiction, as the letter needs to be forwarded by them?” added Jadwani. Satish Gunjikar, resident of the building, said, “We have tried our best to get in touch with all the people in the BMC. Why did they not respond in time? And now, when we have started the repair work after the BMC’s notice, they have issued a stop-work notice to us. We have written to the building proposal department a week ago and are yet to get the permission.”
The BMC admits to not having forwarded the permission letter, but claimed it advised the society to get in touch with the building proposal department after submitting the necessary papers to get the permission. Assistant Municipal Commissioner Prashant Sapkale said, “Where repairs are concerned, work to be done on the pillars of any building requires permission from the building proposal department, and the ward office doesn’t have a role to play in this, which is well known to the structural engineers and consultants appointed to do the work here.”