26/11 target, Nariman House gets BMC notice over security cabin

Updated: Dec 03, 2016, 08:21 IST | Laxman Singh

Eight years after terrorists destroyed Nariman House, BMC has served a notice to it over illegal additions — a security cabin and a second staircase set up in an open space

Nariman House in Colaba had applied for permissions to repair the building after 26/11. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Nariman House in Colaba had applied for permissions to repair the building after 26/11. Pic/Suresh Karkera

Nariman House in Colaba, a Jewish outreach centre run by Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, received international attention after it became one of the main targets during the 26/11 attacks. Eight years later, it has been served a notice by the BMC for illegal additions — a security cabin and a second staircase — said to be a result of anxiety by members of the House, worried for their safety post the attack.

The Jewish centre was reopened in August 2014
The Jewish centre was reopened in August 2014

Following the terror attack that ravaged the building, those looking after it had applied for permissions to repair the building.

Brought to notice
The BMC, following an inspection by the building proposal department, issued a notice to the architect and the owner of the building on November 21. Signed by assistant engineer Shafi Momin of the department, the notice states that the structures set up without permission be removed in seven days.

Slain Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg’s father pays a tribute to him and the other deceased. File pic
Slain Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg’s father pays a tribute to him and the other deceased. File pic

“Unless that is done, the building won’t get its completion certification, in the absence of which they won’t be able to restore their water supply,” said an official from the department.

Officials from the department said that the water supply to Nariman House has been disconnected for over a year now due to pending bills and also as a penalty, when it was found that the owner had taken a water connection illegally. Pending bills worth Rs 40,000 have been paid, but the penalty for illegal water connection, which comes to Rs 60,000, is yet to be.

Despite repeated attempts, assistant engineer of the department Shafi Momin was not available for comment.

mid-day sent email and text messages to Nariman House authorities for their side, but they too did not respond.

When terror called
Six Jews were killed at Nariman House, which was one of several places targeted in the November 2008 attack. Indian forces killed two gunmen there.

Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg (29) and his pregnant wife Rivkah (28), who ran the Jewish cultural centre, were killed in the attack, but the couple’s two-year-old son Moshe survived.

After being completely annihilated in the deadly terror attack, which killed several of its occupants, the refurbished building was opened in 2014, eight years after the strike. It has a synagogue, offices, guest rooms, a restaurant, a commercial kitchen and security rooms.

Nariman House
The refurbished cultural centre has a synagogue, offices, rooms, a restaurant, a commercial kitchen and security rooms.

Rs 40k
Pending water bills paid by the house

Rs 60k
Penalty for illegal water connection

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