Mumbai: 102-year-old building residents wait for half-done repairs to be completed
The Jolly Chambers building in Dongri. Pic/Tanvi Phondekar
Residents of a century-old, dilapidated building in Dongri are having anything but a jolly time, with their landlord refusing take up complete repairs of the building. The building, named Jolly Chambers, has been left half-repaired, putting the lives of residents in danger. They have now approached local MLA Amin Patel for help.
The residents met Patel, local ward officers and MHADA officials at the Kesar Baug hall in Dongri on September 7. Patel has ordered an inquiry in the case and alleged a scam, since residents have claimed that while Rs 34 lakh was approved for repairs, only Rs 12 lakh was spent on them.
Jolly Chambers is a ground-plus-five-storey building in Dongri and comes under BMC's B ward. It has almost 102 flats and around 25 shops, five of which are owned by former MLA Nawab Malik. One of them is Café Islam, which is on the name of Islam Malik, Nawab's father.
"Amin Patel, our MLA, claims that he has funded Rs 5 lakh and MHADA has given a total of around Rs 34 lakh for the repair work. But when the officials visited the building, they saw that not even half of the repair work had been done. The work that has been done is worth Rs 12 to Rs 13 lakh. Parvez Kapadia, the contractor, showed that a total of Rs 34 lakh has been utilized in the building," said Nasir Bashir Shaikh, a resident.
Shaikh added, "The meeting was held on Thursday, but till date none of the officials have visited to see the building or investigate the scam. Are they waiting for our death certificate so that they get a point to register a case? The landlord should also come forward and quickly take steps for the redevelopment of the building according to the law. Now for the repair work, we have been asked to collect Rs 20,000 per head. What is it for, when we haven't even received a detailed report about the last repairs?"
At their own risk
Azgar Pardawala, the landlord said, "I had already sent a notice [to residents] six months ago saying that the building is dangerous and they have to stay there at their own risk. I have to sell the building, but if anyone comes forward I will do that on the first priority."
Confirming the meeting, Patel said, "The Jolly Chambers residents claimed that the contractor has looted a huge amount in the name of repair work and made a bill of around Rs 34 lakh. I have asked MHADA to visit the building and investigate the matter and bring out an inquiry about the same."
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