Mumbai: BMC regularises Sonu Sood's hotel days after serving demolition notice
Actor's proposal, which was held for months due to technicalities, gets nod within a month of Lokayukta asking why no action has been taken
Actor Sonu Sood has been saved from the hammer, literally. Just three days after the K West ward office sent him a demolition notice over illegal additions and alterations to a residential complex converted into a hotel in Juhu, the municipal commissioner gave the necessary approvals for the premises.
Sood's application for requisite permissions had not been approved for over a year-and-a-half owing to various technicalities pointed out by civic officials. The approval given on February 7 comes less than a month after Lokayukta demanded to know why necessary action was not taken. mid-day had reported in January and February, 2019 about the residential premises being used as lodging and boarding without necessary permissions. Each time Sood applied for clearance, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) pointed out flaws.
Activist Ganesh Kusumulu approached the Lokayukta over lack of action against the building, after which the K West ward was sent a notice on January 16. On January 18, the Building Proposal (BP) department forwarded Sood's application to its head while the K West ward office sent the actor a demolition notice on February 4. On February 7, the civic chief approved Sood's application.
Kusumulu pointed out that BMC should be equally benevolent towards ordinary citizens. "The file was miraculously approved after a demolition notice was sent. Even if the change from its purpose from residential to commercial is approved, the illegal additions and alterations remain. The BMC should act against those," Kusumulu said.
Repeated applications by the actor to get alterations approved were rejected by the BMC. Pic/ Sayyed Sameer Abedi
"I have been following up with the BMC for permissions and nothing was illegal. Only permissions were in process for a long time. We had to apply and reapply, nothing happened overnight. If the ward office still requires any more papers, we will provide them. With the municipal commissioner approving my application, I don't think the notice of demolition stands at all," Sood told mid-day.
An official from the K West ward office said, "We have not checked the documents as the file goes from the municipal commissioner to the BP department and then comes to the ward office. Once we have seen the documents approving his application, we will retract the demolition notice."
Assistant Municipal Commissioner V P Mote said, "We will follow the due process of law. Be it closing the complaint or going ahead with demolition, we will check all documents thoroughly before deciding on further action."
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