Mumbai society's no-car-drop policy forces injured 72-yr-old to walk

Filmmaker Kunal Kohli’s mother had fallen and hurt her leg a fortnight ago because the society in Breach Candy where she has been renting an office for 42 years would not allow her car to even drop her inside; this continued even though her injury was a result of debris in the compound

A 72-year-old woman, who has been renting an office in an upmarket society in the Breach Candy area for the last 42 years, fell and hurt herself a fortnight ago because her car wasn’t being allowed into the premises even to drop her.

Yash Kohli outside the building’s gate. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
Yash Kohli outside the building’s gate. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

The elderly woman fell because of debris lying in the compound, but even that did not make the society’s management show any sympathy towards her and they have continued to deny her car access.

Fed up, Yash Kohli, mother of well-known director Kunal Kohli, had filed a complaint against the management of Akash Ganga society on Warden Road with the Gamdevi police station in September.

At least five other renters also joined her in filing the complaint. Officials went to the society, but the management allegedly refused to budge and the complainants have sent a reminder to the police.

Repeated requests
For the past six months, 72-year-old Kohli and others have been prevented from bringing their cars onto the premises despite assuring the security guard and the management that the driver would simply drop them and park outside the compound.

Despite Kohli being a senior citizen, she was denied permission, which led to her falling and hurting her leg because of debris lying in the compound. “When the law states that even visitors’ cars can enter the premises, how can the cars of people having offices in the building be denied access?

This kind of treatment is really bizarre, especially when it is meted out to someone who has had an office in building for 42 years,” said Kohli. She added that the security guard at the gate also talks rudely, as if he was doing her a favour by letting her car into the compound.

Kohli alleged that in the six months that this has been happening, she has been complaining to the management both verbally and in writing, but nothing has been done. “I have also been complaining about the debris that has been lying inside the compound for a long time, but nothing has been done about that either.

The debris is one of the major reasons for us wanting to take our vehicles inside. Senior citizens like me can’t walk through the debris without hurting ourselves,” added Kohli. Persis Engineer (60), who runs a salon in a rented shop on the second floor of the building, says she has also had to fight nearly every day for her and her clients’ cars to be allowed inside the building. “This is becoming a pain.

On Monday, a differently-abled client visited my salon, but the watchman refused to let her car in to even drop her. I had to go down and fight with him to allow her car to come in. They should at least allow visitors’ cars to drop them and then park outside the building,” said Engineer. She said most of her clients are from well-to-do families and they don’t like getting off outside the gate and having to argue with the watchman.

Secretary speak
Ishwar Khilnani, the society’s secretary said that only the cars of members those who own, not rent, flats and shops in the building are allowed in. “The people whose vehicles are not being allowed in are not members of the society. There are so many societies that don’t allow the cars of other visitors and non-members.

There is a post office in the compound which attracts many visitors and there will be a problem if we allow everyone’s cars inside.” Raja Kishan Gurnani, who is a member of the managing committee, however, sided with Kohli and the others.

“I think it is not right and if someone has an office in the building, and is also a senior citizen, her car should be allowed in. Even the law says that a certain percentage of a building’s parking space should be reserved for visitors,” he said.

Expert speak
Advocate Vinod Sampat, president of the Stamp Duty and Registration Payers’ Association, said, “Regulation 36 Table 15 of the Development Control Regulation of Greater Mumbai stipulates that 10% of the total parking space should be compulsorily reserved for visitors’ parking in addition to the normal requirement of car parking space.”

He added, “Not allowing a person entry into the building premises is a criminal offence of wrongful restraint. The object clause of the cooperative society permits use of flats for ancillary activities like tuitions, beauty parlours, etc.”

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2 Comments

  • Ashish p03-Dec-2014

    Such a disgusting attitude of the society, had been the elderly of the secretaries relative would it be the same case. Sometimes I feel ashamed to be a part of this so called human society, especially after recollecting what happens with elderly ppl and women across India.

  • R Dumasia03-Dec-2014

    This is not acceptable as the society is also violating law which provides for minimal parking space for visitors and if I am not wrong there is a High Court order on making spaces friendly to differently abled persons. Most big hotels in suburbs also do not allow autos to enter forcing even a handicap person to walk from gate to hotel lobby. A hotel at Saaki Naka (my experience couple of years ago) has its own rate card when you ask for normal cabs (black

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