Liberty owner, neurologist squabble over puddle in theatre's parking lot

Nov 07, 2015, 10:50 IST | Hemal Ashar

Liberty cinema owner, Nazir Hoosein, and well-known neurologist Dr Nirmal Surya, are trading charges over a stagnant pool of water in the iconic cinema’s parking lot.

Mosquitoes buzz over the stagnant water at Liberty cinema car park, while there is a film of green over the water near the drains. Pic/Suresh KK
Mosquitoes buzz over the stagnant water at Liberty cinema car park, while there is a film of green over the water near the drains. Pic/Suresh KK

Hoosein said the water, which is a breeding ground for moquitoes — in fact, there is a layer of green moss over it — comes from the drainage of a building called Lotus House, adjoining Liberty. “There is a problem with their drainage lines and unfortunately, those drains open into our premises. The line is choked, the water is overflowing.”

Stop the hogwash
Dr Surya, who is the chairperson of the Lotus House Society Committee rubbished Hoosein’s claims saying, “the water is not from Lotus House building. It emanates from beneath the ground in the Liberty cinema car park.

Nazir Hoosein and Dr Nirmal Surya
Nazir Hoosein and Dr Nirmal Surya

Lotus House has nothing to do with it, it is their problem. Hoosein has written several letters telling me to solve the problem, but since it is their problem, why should I answer those letters?” Mosquitoes buzzed over the coagulated water.

Nazir Hoosein’s dogs at the Liberty cinema complex
Nazir Hoosein’s dogs at the Liberty cinema complex

Errol Lobo, administrator, Liberty cinema, says, “People are fearful of contracting dengue. They are also wary about mosquitoes entering their car.” Lobo was hesitating even while showing this reporter the spot where the water had collected.

He claimed that Liberty has spoken to BMC personnel, “which conducts fumigation. In fact, when the BMC comes into the cinema premises for fogging I tell them to spray the medicine over this stagnant water, especially, to stave off the dengue danger.”

The doctor insisted that the problem is between Liberty and the BMC though. “They need to tell civic authorities to tackle this, why blame us?” he asked.

Who let the dogs out?
The doctor who consults at the Bombay Hospital, which is the proverbial stone’s throw away, added, “These people (Hoosein & Co.) are powerful. They have influence with the press. In India, unfortunately, it is the people who make the most noise that are heard,” he claimed.

He also stated that if Hoosein was worried about people contracting dengue, he should also worry about them getting rabies. “Hoosein has a number of dogs loose in the Liberty cinema compound. They chase bystanders and one person has actually run into this building in fright, he needs to put his dogs on a leash, somebody can get rabies.”

Hoosein rubbished and laughed off the “influential” allegation. He added, “I have four dogs, all are injected. They do not scare or chase anybody. When you have nobody but yourself to blame, one tends to clutch at the straws which is what Dr Surya is doing.”

No love lost in the time of malaria
There are a number of letters dated from April 2015, from Nazir Hoosein to Dr Nirmal Surya first citing that the water is from air-conditioners from the building. Hoosein then stated it may not be from air-conditioning but drainage from the building.

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