'Builder mentally tortured my father to his death'

Jun 13, 2012, 07:04 IST | Saurabh Katkurwar

In a tragic turn of events Harishchandra Rao, a flat owner in the controversial Green Heritage high-rise in Kharghar, died of a cardiac arrest on May 28. He had been allegedly receiving threat calls from the builder, Abhishek Builders and Developers, to withdraw the complaints that the former had registered against the developers.

Rao’s son, Akshay, alleged that the heart attack his father suffered was an outcome of the mental harassment he was subjected to by the builder. Akshay, a TYBMS student, said, “In the last week of May, we saw that my father was totally stressed out. When we enquired about the reason, he told us that he was receiving calls from the developer, ordering him to take back all the complaints he had registered against them. On May 28, my father, who was mentally harassed, suffered a cardiac arrest and he passed away. He was a happy person and had no feud with anyone. But the mental harassment he was subjected to by the builder led to his demise.”

Outraged: Harishchandra Rao’s son Akshay alleged that the threat calls from the builder were the reason behind his father’s heart attack

The 20-year-old, who is living with his mother in the B-wing of the building, is scared that they will be rendered homeless once the building is demolished. “My father had a small hotel in Govandi and was the sole breadwinner for the family. Now, I am trying to handle his business, as we have no other means of income. I do not know when will we be asked to vacate our home, which was bought by my father. Why should we suffer for the misdeeds of developers and inaction of CIDCO?” Akshay questioned. When contacted, Dinesh Patel, Karman Patel, Gangaji Bhanushali, Vijay Gajra, Sohal Gala and Sunil Gala, partners in Abhishek Builders and Developers, remained unavailable for comment.

A day after the Green Heritage residents failed to seek reprieve from the Bombay High Court, they shared their experiences, as how they are bearing the brunt for the developer’s misdeeds and inaction on CIDCO’s part. B C Mangarhe, a retired Air Authority of India employee, had sold his property in Nagpur and took additional loan to buy a flat in the building. “When I found that my savings were not enough to buy a flat here, I sold my property in Nagpur. In case we are asked to vacate our flats, I have nowhere to go, nor the money to buy a new house,” Mangarhe said.

“It is surprising that CIDCO failed to notice such a massive construction. We’ll approach the Supreme Court to save our homes and will request the court to check CIDCO’s role in this case,” said Anita Singh, another resident. The residents have now decided to try all possible options to save their homes. They are also planning to move court against CIDCO for its inaction and negligence in allowing the builder to construct the unauthorised building.

Demolition report
Following the high court’s ruling, the CIDCO officials have prepared a demolition report for the unauthorised structure. R B Patil, additional town planning officer, CIDCO, said, “We have made the report and will forward it to the department of controller of unauthorised construction, which will take action against the illegal construction.” 

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