Crown Vet in Mahalaxmi. File pics
South Mumbai's controversial veterinary clinic in Mahalaxmi now faces the civic body's hammer. After getting no response to the showcause notice sent to it to prove its legality, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued a demolition order for the structure. After mid-day's report on March 15, assistant engineer of BMC's building and factory department issued a final order to Crown Vet.
The clinic came under BMC's scanner after a pet owner from Colaba filed a complaint against it
The BMC has asked the clinic to demolish its unauthorised structure within seven days, failing which the civic body would do it.
Crown Vet clinic is owned by prince of Baroda's royal family Pratapsinh Gaekwad and his wife Pragyashree. It was inaugurated last April. The clinic is spread over more than 4,500 sq ft and has an emergency room, operation rooms and X-ray facility among others.
The galas in which the clinic is located falls under VLT (vacant land tenement) category and has been leased to a firm by the name Bombay Surgical Works. As per rules, it can't be subleased, and commercial use of the land is also not allowed. Crown Vet subleased the galas from Bombay Surgical Works and started a clinic, violating the VLT norms.
The civic body's notice states, "You (Crown Vet) is hereby directed to remove all the notice structure, i.e. unauthorised addition/alteration, in Gala 27 and 28 (in which the clinic is constructed) of partition walls below Mahalaxmi Bridge."
If Crown Vet fails to demolish the same, then the civic body will raze it down and recover the cost from the clinic, it adds.
Assistant municipal commissioner of G-south (Worli, Mahalaxmi) Prashant Sapkale confirmed the development but refused to divulge details. "We have issued the final order and appropriate action will be take after seven days," he said.
The clinic kicked up a controversy after a pet owner from Colaba, Nandini Suchde, filed a complaint with the BMC to find out the clinic's legality. After going through the paperwork, it was revealed that the clinic did not have permission for the construction, after which Suchde had filed a complaint in the local ward office. Apart from the illegality, she alleged, her pet too died due to the clinic's negligence.
On March 3, acting on her complaint, G-south ward office had issued a show-cause notice to the clinic to furnish the documents related to permission for it to come up.
Gaekwad, however, had refuted all allegations and said there is no illegality and that Suchde's allegation of medical negligence that caused her pet's death too is baseless.
When contacted for his comment on BMC's latest order, Gaekwad remain unavailable.