With an unannounced demolition drive carried out by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in Dahisar’s Maratha Colony area Tuesday rendering three widows and their children homeless, the civic body has apologised for the “oversight” and promised to rebuild it.
Officials of R North (Dahisar) ward were carrying out the demolition drive to clear encroachments coming in the way of a road widening project when they erroneously pulled down the house. Two days after the incident, the assistant municipal commissioner (AMC) of R north ward has written an apology letter to the owner of the house, Jyoti Peddi, assuring the family that the civic body would rebuild the house at the same location.
“We regret that the house owned by Jyoti Peddi, located on CTS (city’s survey number) 1106, 1107 in Dahisar east Maratha Colony was demolished by mistake due to the oversight of BMC workers. We assure to rebuild the house at the same location,” read the letter by Sandhya Nandedkar.
The matter not only irked residents of the area, but also local politicians who rushed to the spot and threatened civic officials of action. “The house was demolished when the Peddi family was observing the 11th day rituals of a deceased family member. The house was located inside the compound of a private property and was not coming in way of the road widening project. And even if they came over to demolish, no notice or warning was given to the family. This is an inhuman act and is a criminal offence. We are trying to register an FIR against the officials who were involved in this act. We demand an explanation for this,” said local Shiv Sena corporator Sheetal Mhatre.
Jyoti Peddi said her family had been living in the house for over seven decades. “Our belongings were thrown out, and we were rendered homeless within a few minutes,” she said.
A total of nine people lived in the house. “My uncle died 11 days back, and we were observing the 11th day ritual. All of a sudden, a few BMC officials came to our house and asked us to vacate it immediately. We resisted, and asked for a copy of the notice but they just went ahead with the demolition. For the last two days, all nine of us with all our belongings are living in the open and in cold,” said Kunal Peddi, Jyoti’s son.
Meanwhile, Nandedkar said the BMC was looking into the issue. “Their house will be rebuilt soon,” she said, without divulging any further information.