MUMBAI: The BMC on Thursday demolished illegal top four floors of a 12-storey building constructed by controversial builder Kamla Landmarc in Kalina. The son of former Congress minister Kripashankar Singh used to live in one of the demolished floors. “I had rented a duplex in Avadhut Co-Operative Housing Society, but shifted out when I learnt about the irregularities,” clarified Sanjay Singh, the former minister’s son.
The BMC will continue its demolition drive next week, said a senior civic official.
Civic officials said the builder had permission to build up to seven floors on a plot in Kalina’s Sundar Nagar area in Santacruz (E), but he allegedly manipulated the rules and built a 12-storey building, Avadhut CHS. Kamla Landmarc sold most of the apartments and after residents moved in, the irregularities were brought to the notice of the BMC. Last year, the BMC issued a notice to Kamla Landmarc under Section 53/1 of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act.
Kamla Landmarc and Avadhut CHS then moved Bombay high court against the demolition questioning lack of action by the BMC despite a January 2016 communication. On December 20, 2016, a high court bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice M S Karnik had given BMC time to take steps and submit a compliance report on January 17.
The BMC counsel had said they would “take necessary steps in accordance with law” to comply with the November 17, 2016, order of single judge, who had dismissed an appeal against an order of the city civil court to prevent demolition. The November order by the HC had slammed the builder for coming to court with “unclean hands” and had vacated a status quo order granted by a vacation judge in June 2016 on the builder’s plea. The court had said that the builder’s appeal “deserves to be dismissed” for two reasons, one of which was that he was “guilty of misrepresenting this court that there is an order rejecting ad interim reliefs and obtaining a protection under the order dated June 3”. The HC had also imposed a cost of Rs 50,000 on the builder to be deposited with the state legal services authority.
After the builder’s application was rejected by the high court, the BMC decided to raze the illegal floors. On Thursday, civic workers carried out partial demolition on flats on the 8th, 10th, 11th and 12th floors.
“The developer will take immediate steps to regularize the floors that have not been demolished as there was balance development potential on the plot. The additional construction was in anticipation of regularization,” said the builder’s lawyer Bipin Joshi. “There was an amendment in November 2016 that could enable additional FSI. The BMC could have waited.”
Credits ET Realty