Illegal construction starts again at Bandra building even after BMC's stop-work notice

Updated: Dec 16, 2017, 19:33 IST | Laxman Singh

Residents allege dozens of complaints to ward office and BMC itself issuing stop-work notices to owner of floors carrying out illegal construction have come to naught

It's been over a month since the civic body issued a stop-work notice to the alleged illegal construction going on in Bandra West's Mamta building on Waterfield Road, but it hasn't made squat of a difference. Residents have alleged that the work has restarted and at a quicker pace.

Residents have alleged the owner has boarded up from the outside to hide the illegal work being done
Residents have alleged the owner has boarded up from the outside to hide the illegal work being done

Despite complaints being filed in the local ward office, and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issuing the notice on October 28, civic officials are yet to take any further action, which, residents have alleged, they are doing deliberately.

The ground and first floors are owned by Harish Gehi. mid-day had reported about the unauthorised work on November 4, with the residents holding Gehi responsible for their building's structural weakness. Arif Ali, a resident, said, "Our building shakes when they do demolition work. They have demolished internal walls and damaged the beams and columns. The building is more than 40 years old, and if no action is taken soon, it will collapse."

Labourers take a break during work on the ground floor of Mamta building in Bandra West. Pics/Sameer Markande
Labourers take a break during work on the ground floor of Mamta building in Bandra West. Pics/Sameer Markande

When mid-day visited the building, we found 10 labourers engaged in alterations and demolition work on the ground floor; internal walls had been razed. On December 15, another resident, Arvind Hegde, had sent a complaint letter to Assistant Municipal Commissioner Sharad Ughade. It read: "Internal walls on the first floor have been removed completely and the ground floor has been changed against the approved plan..."

BMC keeps mum
When contacted, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (zone III) Anand Waghralkar said, "Please speak to ward officer on this issue." While Assistant Municipal Commissioner of H-west ward Sharad Ughade remained unavailable for comment, a ward official said, "After we issued a stop-work notice to Gehi, he submitted an approved plan from the Building Proposal department, as per which work was being done. Currently, he is carrying out repairs for which no permission is required."

The other side
Gehi said, "I am carrying out repairs of my property, for which I don't need permission. If I am fitting a window, obviously there's going to be noise. These complainants too have done illegal alterations to their flats. My work is as per the approved plan."

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