Fashion designers' illegal construction irks residents

Almost two months after Ramanand Sagar’s grandson was in the news for attending the infamous Juhu ‘rave’ party, his daughter-in-law is embroiled in a controversy over illegal constructions at her rented ground floor flat in Juhu Scheme. 

Residents of Kailash building, including the landlord, allege that Sagar’s daughter-in-law Nisha, who is a fashion designer, has made illegal structural alterations to her flat that have compromised the structure’s safety, which has endangered their lives.

They also allege that she has usurped the space in front of her flat to illegally park her vehicle, which has narrowed the entrance to the building, putting them at risk, in case of an emergency.

“Nisha is a tenant, and we never permitted her to make any alterations to the flat. By making illegal changes, she has damaged the structure. She has also encroached upon passages by parking her cars. Since she belongs to an influential family, the police and BMC are not taking our complaints seriously,” said Ila Gandhi, the landlord.

Dangerous designs: Fashion designer Nisha Sagar has two flats at Kailash Apartments, Juhu Scheme. Residents allege that she has made illegal alterations to the ground floor flat. They also complain that by parking her cars at the entrance, she has inconvenienced them. Pics/Rane Ashish

To tackle the issue, residents complained several times to Juhu police station but no action was taken.

They then approached the BMC with their grievances highlighting the illegal constructions, asking officials to demolish the structure.

On May 14, this year, BMC issued a stop-work notice (copy available with MiD DAY) to Nisha, but she ignored it.

“Nisha is acting like the landlord. She has embarked upon huge constructions, alterations without any permission, and has put our lives in danger. In the event of any emergency her cars will hamper movement and hinder rescue efforts,” said Ashok Jhunjhunwala, a resident of the buiding.
“We have also filed a petition in the Bandra court requesting an order for Nisha to vacate the flat,” said Ila.

Nisha’s father Mohan Patel (former Mumbai Sheriff) had rented two flats measuring 5,000 sq feet in 1980.

According to the tenants, their problems with Nisha started nine years ago, when in 2003 she put in 17 sewing machines in her flat to address her business (she supplies costumes to television serials).

At that time residents, including the landlord Kirit Gandhi, objected to the installation.

But, Nisha stated that she would transfer the machines after three months, as her factory in Goregaon was undergoing construction, but eventually did not.

Then two years later, she converted the flat into a boutique, which was opposed by the residents due to the structural changes she made.

But the problems reached a boiling point in 2007 when although she had been allotted a garage and stilt parking for her two cars, she started
parking her car in a passageway permanently. This caused immense harm to the residents.

On several occasion residents requested her to vacate the passage, but she refused to do so and also put up a nameplate ‘Nisha Sagar’ at the slot.

Not only that, she adorned the passage with huge potted plants and her four cars.

She also stopped paying maintenance to the landlord for several years. 


The other side 
“I belong to a respected and cultured family, and I don’t even raise my voice to anybody. Then how can I do any illegal works? I have all the necessary documents to prove that I have done nothing against the law. The tenants have approached the police and BMC several times, but seeing the relevant documents with me, the authorities did nothing. The late landlord had orally permitted my father to occupy the passage. I am not aware about the BMC’s stop-work notice. My architect has submitted a report that I have done nothing illegal in the building. This is true that I am not paying maintenance because I am fed up of the torment by the tenants,” said Nisha Sagar

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