Mumbai: Narrow approach stalls Jogeshwari project

Updated: May 16, 2019, 08:22 IST | Sanjeev Shivadekar | Mumbai

Two roads leading to an under-construction high-rise in Jogeshwari do not adhere to the minimum six-metre width requirement

The two approach roads to the building show different, incorrect measurements in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation records. Pics/Satej Shinde
The two approach roads to the building show different, incorrect measurements in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation records. Pics/Satej Shinde

Two roads in Jogeshwari's Behrambaug are facing an identity crisis or sorts as two separate BMC departments have different dimensions for the roads in their records, and both happen to be incorrect. With the contradiction in civic records, approval for a high-rise apartment adjacent to the road is now stuck.

A 2010 BMC report mentioned that a plot in Jogeshwari where a high-rise building was then proposed is accessible by two roads — one with a width of 6.2 metres and another measuring around 7 metres. Accordingly, Odin Enterprises, Jogeshwari-based developer, constructed a high-rise tower at Behrambaug and is in the process of procuring further clearances for the project Elite Residency.

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However, fire brigade authorities after inspecting the site in its letter (in 2017) categorically mentioned that none of the access roads have a continuous width of 6 metres or more. "An NOC [no objection certificate] for the OC [occupation certificate] shall not be granted for the high-rise building on the plot until access roads of six-metre width are provided as per earlier NOCs of the fire department," the letter mentioned. As per the Development Control Rules (DCR), a minimum of six-metre access road is necessary for a high-rise building.

Nafees Khatri, a tenant residing on a plot next to the under-construction building, raised a red flag against the alleged violations of the rules. He blamed civic officials of being ignorant of the violations. "Despite objection from the fire brigade, permission for construction of the high-rise building was granted. A thorough probe should be ordered. Till the inquiry is completed and its findings are tabled before the appropriate authorities, no further permissions should be granted by any of the government agencies," Khatri added.

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However, both BMC and developer have refuted the allegations. Ilyas Ghaswala, one of the partners in Odin Enterprises, said, "When we started the project, the road was wider. But slowly, encroachment started on the road and it has become narrow. Had civic administration intervened on time or cleared encroachments the situation would have been different."

Asked why the developer did not object to encroachment or informed the BMC about the same, Ghaswala said, "We had given in writing to the BMC about the access road being encroached. But no action was seen. Now that we have applied for the permission, the civic officials have assured to get the encroachments removed so that necessary approvals for completion of the project as per the norms can be sought," the developer mentioned.

'No BMC-developer nexus'

Officials from the local ward office and building proposal department did not respond to our calls. However, a civic official who is aware of the issue and now transferred out of the ward, admitted about contradictions in the width of the road. He, however, refuted charges of a nexus between the authorities and developer. "BMC administration will never issue any clearances unless everything is as per the norms. There is no question of authorities being ignorant of rules or supporting violations by a developer," the official said on condition of anonymity.

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