Off the record, BMC official says the Union minister started demolition of illegal portion of his 8-storey bungalow on Wednesday
Rane’s Juhu bungalow on Thursday. Pic/Satej Shinde
Narayan Rane’s sea-facing bungalow at Juhu was covered with green shade net on Thursday, fuelling speculations that the Union minister and BJP leader had started razing the unauthorised construction at the 8-storey structure. This comes after the Supreme Court dismissed a plea to regularise the illegal portion of the property, named Aadhish. Rane said there was no violation at his Juhu bungalow and that only internal changes were being carried out.
Prithviraj Chauhan, assistant commissioner of K-west ward, which covers Juhu, did not respond to calls. There was no sign of any demolition outside Aadhish, which is located on the busy Juhu-Tara Road. Rane told mid-day, “There isn’t any truth in the rumours. There wasn’t any unauthorised construction inside my house. Only work of internal changes is going on.”
The property on September 20. Pic/Shadab Khan
Requesting anonymity, a BMC official said Rane has informed the civic body that the demolition started on Wednesday. “The BMC team hasn’t visited the site yet and will do it once the work is complete. After that, the BMC will submit its report to the high court and act as per the rules.” Aadhish hit the headlines in March after the BMC sent a notice to it citing unauthorised construction from the first to the eighth floors. On March 22, the HC restrained the BMC from action and directed it to consider his regularisation application.
After the BJP returned to power in the state in June, the BMC shifted its stance and was ready to regularise the structures. But the Bombay High Court said the BMC had ignored the principles laid down by the Supreme Court and refused to give any relief to Rane and imposed a cost of Rs 10 lakh on his firm. The HC also rejected Rane’s request to maintain the status quo for six weeks to approach the Supreme Court. On September 26, the apex court dismissed a plea by a company owned by Rane challenging the HC order that directed the BMC to pull down the unauthorised portions of the waterfront property. The top court granted three months to the firm to demolish the portions.