Just two days after MiD DAY published a report (‘Residents trounce local slumlord to reclaim garden’, June 3) about how the residents of MHADA’s Powai Lake Heights had been fighting hard to free a garden from the clutches of a local slumlord named Tiwari, MHADA officials executed the promised demolition to free the open space of the illegal structures erected by Tiwari.
It was based on the complaints received from the residents that MHADA CEO N K Sudanshu had ordered yesterday’s demolition. “All the illegal structures constructed on the garden measuring 5,000 sq ft have been demolished,” MHADA Senior Executive Engineer C J Rao said. “The illegal structure was operated as a restaurant and was frequented by auto drivers who would park their vehicles on the society premises.
These drivers would rest for hours at the hotel and had made life difficult for women using the road. Also, incidents of chain snatching and sexual harassment had gone up,” Yogesh Rao, a society resident, said. Another resident Dishank Sharan said he was happy that the illegal structure was demolished, as it had become a hub for anti-social elements and activities.
He even claimed that Tiwari lacked purchase documents for the shop he bought from MHADA. “After an eight-month-long battle, we will finally be able to use the open space for recreational purposes,” Ajinkya Bhansod said.
The other side
“We are being harassed by MHADA officials for no reason. Despite getting a stay order from the court, they went ahead with the demolition and in the process violated the order,” Tiwari’s son Pramod said. When the correspondent requested Pramod to show the stay order copy, he said he has already informed the MHADA officials about it and there was no need for anyone else to see it.