Hours after BMC demolishes extensions, singer Abhijeet rebuilds 'illegal' shed
Andheri building residents allege Bollywood singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya has set up an illegal shed outside his restaurant Ticca Tikka and continues to encroach on site despite action by Mumbai's civic body
BMC demolished illegal sheds put up by singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya and other shop owners in a residential premises in Andheri. Pic/Satej Shinde
Residents of Royal Classic building in Andheri are a harassed lot, and they have been for a while, courtesy, they allege, an illegal shed put up by singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya as an extension to his restaurant on the premises. Bhattacharya owns an eatery called Ticca Tikka in the society.
A cloud of fear
Society secretary Suman Arya (60) told mid-day, “There are a total of five establishments that have done illegal encroachment. One of them belongs to Abhijeet. We sent them notices but in vain... we aren’t getting support from the authorities either. The civic body had sent its men to demolish the illegal set-ups, but after the workers left, the encroachments came back up.”
Residents said they now live in fear as those owning the commercial establishments have threatened them for filing complaints against them.
Arya said, “After we failed to get any response from the authorities, we filed an RTI application on November 17, asking what action was taken on our complaints. We got a reply on December 8 that the BMC sent notices to Bhattacharya and the others under section 55 (unauthorised structures) of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, directing the shop owners to remove the illegal extensions within 15 days, failing which the civic body would raze them down.”
However, it was alleged, not a single shop owner acted on the notice. “On December 22 around 4.30 pm, BMC officials came to the building and demolished all illegal encroachment. After they left, around 7 pm, the shop owners put up the sheds again,” added Arya.
Society secretary Suman Arya (left) has alleged that singer Abhijeet threatened him and other residents. Pics /Satej Shinde
“This is the fourth time that the K-west ward officials demolished the illegal structures, which were set back up again within hours. BMC had earlier demolished these in 2007, then 2012 and once earlier this year.”
Parag Masurkar, assistant municipal commissioner, K/West ward said, “If they have reconstructed the sheds, we will demolish it again and also seek explanation from them.”
After the demolition, an argument had taken place between the shop owners, including Abhijeet, and society members, said Arya, adding, “He came up to us and started arguing; he abused me and kept on shouting at me. I then lodged a complaint with the Amboli police, who have registered a non-cognisable offence against him and two others under sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.”
Abhijeet said, “This is the society’s way of gaining publicity. I have rented out the said property and only intervened in last week’s fight when some of the society membes misbehaved with the shop owners.”
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe