Inhabitants of Siddhartha Cooperative Building in Bhavani Peth claim they haven’t seen much natural light in the past six years, and have been paying hefty power and medical bills, as the cramped construction by developer approved by Slum Rehabilitation Authority has resulted in lack of adequate ventilation in many flats
For many denizens of Siddhartha Cooperative Building in Bhavani Peth, there isn’t much difference between night and day, unless they step out of their dwellings.
Siddhartha Dhiwar. Pics/Mohan Patil
While constructing the five wings of the structure, the developer picked by Slum Rehabilitation Authority has left little space for ventilation, which has also blocked out natural light for flats in the A and B wings.
Consequently, residents — who have to switch on tube lights and bulbs even in the daytime — have been paying hefty sums for their power bills over the last few years. However, the builder and SRA officials both have washed their hands off the matter.
“My 75-year old mother fell and badly injured herself thrice because of the obscurity. To deal with the darkness, I have to turn on the tube lights even in the day, for which I receive astronomic electricity bills,” said Siddhartha Dhiwar, one of the residents of B wing.
Dhiwar added that he ran from pillar to post to share his grievances, but, according to him, the builder as well as SRA officials have made no efforts to rectify the situation.
Dim view: A resident, who stays in the A wing of the building, said that lack of sunlight eventually made his brother paralysed after a year of taking possession of the flat.
Another resident, Gulab Bhadagare, who stays in the A wing of the building, said that lack of sunlight eventually made his brother paralysed after a year of taking possession of the flat.
A resident with his power bill. Pics/Mohan Patil
“Doctors who are treating my brother specifically told us that deficiency of sunlight caused the paralysis, and that is why we recently filed a case against the builder in a consumer court,” added Bhadagare.
However, SRA officials expressed their inability to do anything substantial, and said that the plan was sanctioned by PMC in 2006, and no changes can be made except increasing the size of the windows.
“We assured the residents that the builder would enlarge the windows. Similarly, the partition walls would also be broken so some natural light can enter into the houses. But we can’t provide them alternatives to these flats, which were allotted to them in 2009 after their agreement,” said deputy engineer of SRA, DG Salunke.
On the other hand, director of Aum developers Ketan Veera said the residents were trying to blackmail him. “Initially, we tried to move the residents to other flats. However, they refused to take possession, as those units were smaller in size. We are now ready to design extra windows for them, but still, a few residents are against this, as they want to grab money from us,” he claimed.