Residents' woe: Give us some sunshine

Feb 05, 2012, 09:13 IST | Shailesh Bhatia

Windows of an Andheri society building are blocked by advertisement hoardings located in neighbouring building compound; residents decry loss of light

Windows of an Andheri society building are blocked by advertisement hoardings located in neighbouring building compound; residents decry loss of light

Several of the 230 residents of a six-storeyed building in Oshiwara, Andheri (west) haven't seen the sun in over a year. The reason -- a humongous hoarding, 60 feet tall, is currently blocking their windows. Before this hoarding went up, other hoardings had kept the sunshine from streaming into their homes since the beginning of 2011.

Legend CHS has put up a hoarding in front of Woodland Society (circled),
which, say residents, has blocked sunlight.

pic/Shailesh Bhatia

These hoardings are located inside the compound of neighbouring building, Legend Cooperative Housing Society.
"Till the end of last year, our neighbouring building, had a single 40x20 sq feet hoarding," said Panini Vakil, a resident of Woodland Society, whose windows are being blocked.

Earlier this year, another 40x20 sq ft hoarding was erected near the existing one, Woodland residents said.
"We had complained to the BMC (about the earlier hoarding), however an RTI   response that we had filed to know more about the matter revealed that the permissions had been given on the condition that there should be no complaint from any of the residents in the neighbourhood,"  (Sunday Mid Day has a copy of the RTI response.)

Instead of having their problems redressed, Woodland residents found their problems had increased when another hoarding came up in January.

"Currently, nearly 80 per cent of  our six-storeyed society is blocked by hoardings and  deprives residents of basic sunlight and ventilation," said resident Moushir Masalawala.

When the second hoarding was erected, another RTI application was filed, informed Masalawala. "The BMC response states that permission has been granted only to repair the existing hoarding," he said. (Sunday Mid Day has a copy of the second RTI response as well.)

"All our complaints to the local civic authorities and BMC helpline number, have been unanswered, in spite of the fact that we have produced photographic evidence and RTI replies, to substantiate our grievance. The least they can do is arrange for a site visit to verify the facts," complained Rajender Singh Anand, Building secretary.

Suresh Hegde, secretary of  Legend CHS, in whose compound the hoardings have been erected, refuted the claims made by the residents of Woodland Society. He said their complaints are motivated by a grudge -- he alleged that the Woodland society residents are missing out on prime advertising location because of his hoardings.

"Our hoarding is far away from Woodland society, so it cannot obstruct any view or sunlight. We have obtained requisite permissions legally and the objections amount to infringement of our society's rights," Hegde added.

When contacted, Assistant Commissioner K West ward, Swati Prabhawalkar stated that the issue came under the licensing department and did not fall under her perview.

She gave the name of her Senior Inspector licensing called Dhuri, who could not be contacted, despite repeated attempts.

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