The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to demolish illegal structures in two Worli buildings housing top politicians and ministers.
The politicians,including Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar,BJP leader Gopinath Munde,state Congress president Manikrao Thakre,Punjab governor Shivraj Patil Chakurkar and state forest minister Patangrao Kadam,are accused of making illegal alterations and conversions in their flats/offices in the 14-storey Sukhada and 32-floor Shubhada buildings.
The civic administration had in May given the politicians three months to correct the irregularities. The notices were issued under Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act,after IPS officer-lawyer Y P Singh and activist Amit Maru raised the issue,alleging that society members had converted convenience stores into offices and gymnasiums. Most notices were for alterations on the ground floor of Shubhada.
Kadam received a notice for joining three shops in Sukhada for a gymnasium,while Ajit Pawar received two one for converting two shops in Shubhada into a gym and the other for converting a shop into an office.
Despite the extension given to them,most members allegedly failed to comply with norms.
The civic administration then conducted a site visit on August 30,following which it served final notice to the residents. You were called upon to remove the unauthorised additions and alterations and discontinue unauthorised user and unauthorised construction carried out beyond part occupation certificate. During the site visit on August 30,2013,along with the representative of society and architect,it is observed that no rectification/restoration was carried out on site.
The civic building proposals department has directed the designated officer of the ward to take action against the illegal structures.
Civic officials said restoration work in shop number 6 (on the notice sent to Ajit Pawar and marked to Non-Con Energies) is complete,while work to remove illegalities in shop numbers 10 and 11 is being undertaken by the owners. Restoration work at Mundes shop has also begun,said officials.
The buildings,which mostly house politicians,had initially drawn flak because the state government tweaked rules to allow additional floors. The twin societies were allotted police land for construction of private residential quarters for politicians and ministers. Sukhada and Shubhada received additional FSI for an adjoining open plot to be developed into a garden,allowing expansion of built-up area by 30 per cent.
Despite BMC disapproval,the state government de-reserved the open space. It later came to light that the buildings in CRZ II zone did not have mandatory environmental clearances either.