BMC pulls up SoBo building over structural changes

Aug 17, 2012, 07:19 IST | Varun Singh

Developers of Orbit Arya building at Napean Sea Road have been slapped with a notice by the civic authorities, demanding demolition of several illegalities

The lofty Orbit Arya building on Napean Sea Road has come under a cloud after it was learnt that the developers have been issued a notice by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), asking for demolition of certain transgressions in the structure. Pujit Agarwal-owned real estate firm Orbit Corporation, however, has effectually washed its hands off the issue.

Orbit Arya at Napean  Sea Road
Long way up: The newly-constructed Orbit Arya at Napean Sea Road. Pic/Shadab Khan

The Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act (MRTP) notice was issued to the builder on July 24.

The document states changes have been made or certain developments have been carried out in the recently-constructed structure, which are not in accordance with the permission granted to the developer. The notice specifies that many flat owners have enclosed voids and niche portions, parts of terraces and elevation features. Some adjoining flats have been amalgamated.

Hammer and tongs
The builder has been asked to knock down the work carried out beyond the permission granted within one month from the date of receipt of the notice, failing which “you (builder) will be liable for prosecution and derequisitions will be carried out at your (builder) risk and cost”, read the final paragraph of the document signed by executive engineer PM Patil of building proposal department, BMC.

“We had inspected the building and only after that was the notice issued. We haven’t been to the building after serving the notice. We will wait till the time given to the builder lapses, only after that period appropriate action would be taken,” Patil told MiD DAY.

Symptom of malaise
Advocate YP Singh, who is aware of the issue, said, “Such violations are rampant in many buildings, which are coming up in coastal regulation zone (CRZ) areas where the construction is very restrictive and heaps of free FSI has been acquired, which wouldn’t have been possible elsewhere. This has become the modus operandi of the builders — they get plans passed, then amalgamate flats and include the free FSI in the flat. Strict action needs to be taken against errant builders.”

Amit Maru, an associate of Singh, who’s also working on documentation pertaining to such violations in CRZ area, said, “The builder should be heavily penalised for such blatant irregularity.

The money should be sent to the government treasury and legal action should be initiated against the developer.

The other side
An official mail from Orbit Corp read, “The project, Orbit Arya has been issued the Occupation Certificate by MCGM (BMC) in November, 2011. Based on the Occupation Certificate, owners have been handed over possession of respective flats. The present flat owners have carried out internal changes and have amalgamated certain areas. The company has not committed any illegality either by way of FSI violation or amalgamation. Orbit Corporation Limited has asked the residents for details, which are awaited. Orbit Corporation Limited will get the plan amended to match them as to the built situation. Amended plans as per details received so far have been submitted to MCGM. Further approvals on the amended plan are awaited from MCGM. Till such time, in our opinion, the notice under reference is infructuous.” 

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