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Thursday, August 05, 2021

Heritage panel to consider Esplanade Mansion owner’s restoration proposal soon: BMC to Bombay HC

In February 2020, the owner of the heritage building had told the HC that he, along with the bonafide tenants, would provide Rs 50 crore for restoration and conservation of the building that houses over 140 tenants.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: July 4, 2021 7:42:42 am
Senior Counsel Anil Sakhare representing the BMC on instructions said its heritage committee will take up the proposal by the owner for consideration in its next meeting, and that it wants to “positively protect” the structure. (File Photo)

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Saturday told the Bombay High Court that its heritage committee will consider and decide a proposal for restoration and conservation of Esplanade Mansion, a heritage building in south Mumbai, by owners.

The counsel for owner and tenants of the building told the court that they will give the proposal to the heritage committee in coming weeks, and once it gives nod for the same, further approvals for commencement of construction work can be sought from the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and the BMC.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was hearing a fresh plea by owner Sadiq Ali Noorani, seeking appropriate orders directing the MHADA to handover the building’s possession to the landlord and others, including the civic body, to grant necessary permissions for restoration after submitting the plans for the same.

In February 2020, the owner of the heritage building had told the HC that he, along with the bonafide tenants, would provide Rs 50 crore for restoration and conservation of the building that houses over 140 tenants.

On Saturday, Advocate Chirag Balsara for the owner submitted that they had already arranged Rs 20 crore for the construction work. The landlord of Esplanade Mansion, what was once Watson Hotel, also sought permission for architects to enter the premises to draw up the plans and undertake protective work during monsoon. Advocate Prakash Lad representing the MHADA said the authority had no objection for the same.

Senior Counsel Anil Sakhare representing the BMC on instructions said its heritage committee will take up the proposal by the owner for consideration in its next meeting, and that it wants to “positively protect” the structure.

The bench asked the owners to give their proposal for the building’s restoration at the earliest and also asked the MHADA and the BMC to complete all formalities pertaining to redevelopment or restoration of the structure thereafter.

The judges said the bench will pass the order in chambers and the same will be made available on Monday.

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