Residents of plush Versova tower fight over leaking walls
Imagine having your plush office turned into a muddy mess with an unwanted waterfall coming down the walls every time your neighbours on the floor above use their toilet. Dinesh Puri, who runs an export business from his swanky 1,200 square feet apartment in Versova, now fears not just for the expensive material stored in his office but also for the safety of his employees and himself. Last week, a huge slab from the ceiling crashed down on them, narrowly missing a colleague.
Puri says he has submitted several written complaints to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation(BMC) over the past two years but the civic body is yet to wake up. When SUNDAY MiD DAY visited the office on the ground floor of Beach Queen Society in Versova, the ceiling of the office looked genuinely damp and dangerous. A large chunk was missing!
Producing a two-year-old BMC notice to the Shahs asking them to remove the three allegedly illegal toilets, Puri’s associate and friend Prakash Gidwani said they had not even been allowed to inspect the condition of the floor upstairs.
“Just six months back, we carried out major repairs in the office, spending over Rs 7 lakh. Today the situation is so bad that our staff works in fear of another slab from the ceiling collapsing on their heads,” said Gidwani, a SEO (special executive magistrate).
BMC, housing society, mull further action When contacted, Dashrat Supe, an engineer from BMC’s K West ward, said they have already issued notices to the Shah family, who had not taken any remedial action. “We will scrutinise the approved plan of the society and then issue a MRTP (Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act) notice,” he said.
Mangesh Borse, secretary of the Beach Queen housing society, admitted that complaints had been registered against the family in question, both with the BMC and at the Versova Police station. “No permissions were sought from the society’s managing committee for the construction of the three illegal toilets. We have written to the BMC to demolish them, as the entire society is suffering,” said Borse.
Sanjeev and Bhavna Shah, who own the apartment in question however, denied the allegations. Sanjeev, an architect said he had already complied with all BMC rules and the leakage could well be due to other reasons. “I am currently out of station and cannot discuss the issue in detail,” he said. Advocate Vinod Sampat, who specialises in Cooperative law opined that keeping in mind the seriousness of the case, the aggrieved member has the right to not only approach the BMC, but also file a criminal case against the erring member and the housing society itself.