40 families in the lurch as building basement flooded

Since the last few months, more than 40 families residing at Sneha Paradise housing society at Warje Malwadi have been living in abysmal conditions, as the basement where they park their vehicles has transformed into a swimming pool. Moreover, the housing society’s back-up generator, which is also installed there, is now in knee-deep water.

Deep trouble: The water from an adjacent construction site has percolated in the basement, which now resembles a swimming pool. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

The water has collected in the basement after it trickled down from an overflowing ditch that is situated next to the housing society. A builder who wanted to develop another residential project had dug up the ground from where the water is seeping in. The construction was, however, stalled due to a litigation issue, and there is a stop-work notice issued by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).

“Around 40 families have been residing at the newly constructed 10-storey building since the past year, which was constructed by Rajput builders. But since the last few months, the builder started developing the site situated next to our building. After the digging concluded, some party objected to the work and brought a stop-work order from the PMC. The builder approached the court against the notice,” said Parag Sathe, a resident of Sneha paradise.

Sathe further added that since their basement is adjacent to the construction site, the water started percolating in the basement and now within some weeks, the basement resembles a swimming pool. The back-up generator has now been disconnected, as water has seeped into it.

An aerial view of the plot adjacent to Sneha Paradise housing society in Warje Malwadi, from where water is seeping into its basement

Another resident Harish Dharne said that when they approached the builder and told him about the situation, the builder said that he cannot do anything, as there is stay order and if carries out any work, it will be contempt of court.

“The accumulated water is now stinking badly and there is a serious health issue,” said Dharne. He further said that there is no safety wall near the big pond and there is a danger that children from the building could fall into the pond.

“We have met PMC commissioner Mahesh Pathak, the ward officer of the area and also approached the Warje Malwadi police station. However, no action has been taken yet,” he said.

He said that after the ‘status quo’ order by the court, the builder had also stopped the pending work of their building, citing the stay order from the court and not even provided electricity.

“We personally met Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and after his intervention, we got the electricity connection,” he added.

The back-up generator submerged in knee-deep water. Pics/Krunal Gosavi

Nandu Rajput, the builder, said his hands are tied as the last time they had tried to get rid of the water from the ditch with a pump, the opposing party had objected and then the work had to be stalled.

Police inspector of Warje Malwadi police station, Sunil Darekar, said that the residents did meet him and now he has asked the ward officer to resolve the issue of the residents.

PMC building inspector Amil Rudrage, said that since the issue is in the court and there is a stay order, the builder is scared of emptying the water from the ditch and the basement.

“We have, however, instructed the builder to empty the water-filled ditch and necessary permissions will be given to him by issuing a letter to do so. We are also consulting our legal department on what can be done on this matter,” he said.  

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