BMC officials pass buck on handing Rs 12.5 L pipe repair bill to Adarsh

Updated: Dec 11, 2016, 09:17 IST | Laxman Singh |

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) seems to be dragging its feet on penalising the controversial Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society that had damaged a crucial sewerage line during the construction of the building back in 2007, leading to filth leaking on to the roads in the area

The Adarsh building in Colaba. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
The Adarsh building in Colaba. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) seems to be dragging its feet on penalising the controversial Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society that had damaged a crucial sewerage line during the construction of the building back in 2007, leading to filth leaking on to the roads in the area. A year since the civic body spent Rs 12.5 lakh on repairs, officials are yet to hand over the bill to the building residents.

The problem
After receiving complaints from residents since 2014, the BMC, in July 2015, realised that a test pile, which is a trial foundation laid to test the load bearing capacity of the soil before construction, had damaged the sewerage line — Backbay Depot to Adarsh Society. The test pile had choked the sewerage line, which affected sewage discharge. Complaints had been coming in since May 2014 from Colaba Market, Pasta Lane, SBS Road and Taj President.

The A ward had apparently been sent three letters by the solid waste management department (SWM) between 2014 and 2015 to resolve the leaking pipe problem. Finally, the then Assistant Municipal Commissioner, A ward, Chandrasekhar Chore, directed the department to expedite the work.

A senior civic official said that during construction, the builder constructed two test piles of 450 mm, which damaged a 1,100-mm diameter sewerage line and the BMC had to cut the obstruction to clear the line. The sewerage department spent R12.5 lakh to remove the silt accumulated inside the pipe. The amount was to be recovered from the housing society.

Passing the buck
The sewerage department official said, “The problem had started in 2007, but we got to know about it only in 2014, when residents started complaining about the discharge from the sewage lines. The department had asked the ward office to issue notices to the building management and also to recover the amount spent. However, we did not get any further update,” said an official from the sewerage department.

When mid-day checked with officials from A ward (Colaba, CST) about the penalty, an official who did not wish to be named, said, “We have not sent any notice to the society yet as we are waiting for communication from the sewerage operation department.”

About Adarsh
The 31-storey Adarsh Housing Society in Colaba was constructed for war widows and defence personnel. But, over a period of time, politicians, bureaucrats and military officers allegedly conspired to bend rules concerning land ownership, zoning, FSI and membership to get themselves flats allotted in the building at below market rates.

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