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'Going slow on demolition, don't want to harm building'

As the Green Heritage demolition saga continues at a sluggish pace, CIDCO has stopped its demolition drive yet again, after a resident of the building filed a PIL in Bombay High Court seeking a stay on the demolition. Ironically, CIDCO officials didn’t appear too disturbed by the court order. On the contrary, they expressed unwillingness to conduct the demolition work themselves, admittedly owing to fears that their drive would affect the framework and stability of the building.


Graphic/amit Bandre

Over the past few months, CIDCO has been giving the developers of the building unreasonable extensions for the demolition, much to the convenience of Abhishek Builders. It has now been revealed that CIDCO’s tardiness stemmed from concern that it may affect the framework and stability of the illegally constructed building.

“We have given the developers more than sufficient time to demolish the illegal structure in the building because if we start demolition, we will have to cut around 14 to 16 square metres in each of the flats. In addition, we will have to cut the areas adjoining the external walls without harming pillars and beams.

So we want the developers to remove illegal structures themselves because the demolition by CIDCO as per rules and regulation may affect the framework of the building. So we are going bit slow on the demolition plans. We do not to want to take any risk with the stability of the building,” said Anil Patil, chief controller of unauthorised constructions (CCUC) of CIDCO.

Lazy bulldozers
CIDCO’s first attempt at demolition was made on July 17, and promptly aborted, when Abhishek Developers promised to do away with the illegal structures themselves. When it became all too obvious that developers were doing little by way of demolition, CIDCO resumed its demolition work on July 31. This time too, the drive was called off, after developers promised CIDCO officials, yet again, that they would demolish illegal structures themselves. Yet again, Abhishek Developers went back to their tardy ways, and a week later, no headway had been made into the so-called ‘voluntary’ demolition, a second time in a row.

CIDCO resumed its demolition drive yet again, for a third time yesterday, but matters went back to square one when CIDCO received a stay order issued by the High Court, reportedly after a resident of the building filed a PIL.

Patil said, “We had started demolition work, but stopped it when I was informed by our lawyer that he has received a letter from the Bombay High court putting a stay on the demolition. So we will start demolition only after the matter gets heard in the court on August 22.” 

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