Petition alleges irregularities in sanctions for city’s tallest tower

The construction of Mumbai’s tallest residential tower,the 56-storey Palais Royale in Worli,could be in trouble if allegations made in a public interest litigation filed in the Bombay High Court are proved.

Written by MAYURA JANWALKAR | Mumbai | Published: June 21, 2012 12:12:04 am

The construction of Mumbai’s tallest residential tower,the 56-storey Palais Royale in Worli,could be in trouble if allegations made in a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Bombay High Court are proved.

The PIL by NGO Janhit Manch has alleged several illegalities in sanctions for the construction undertaken by Shree Ram Urban Infrastructure Limited (SRBIL). According to the PIL,the constructions on the 28,409 sq m property “are beyond the commencement certificate (CC) and in deliberate breach of the stop-work notices dated July 16,2011 and December 14,2011 and a demolition notice of December 19,2011 under section 53 of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act,1966”.

The PIL takes exception to the amalgamation of the land that was partly freehold and partly leased by the municipal corporation. The petitioners have contended that in July 2011,SRBIL amalgamated the land without the BMC’s consent,following which a stop-work notice was issued to them. However,the notice was withdrawn on November 11,2011.

The swanky apartments in the octagonal construction that stands 300 m tall,are in violation of a No-Objection certificate granted by the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) on December 30,2006,the PIL claims.

Also,as per the BMC circular of February 27,2007,swimming pools for individual usage are not permissible in residential buildings. However,Janhit Manch claims,the approved plans of the luxury residence show that only one swimming pool on the amenity floor is common while those adjoining the duplex apartments are accessible only from individual flats.

The PIL states that the SRBIL cannot avail additional FSI without handing over the public parking lot to the BMC. On October 1,2010,a CC was granted up to the plinth level including basement for public parking lot as per the approved plan of August 20,2010. “There was no revised MoEF permission for this public parking lot…”

The PIL has urged the court to stay the construction of the building and to appoint Special Investigation Team to probe and take action against erring corporation officers allegedly granting illegal sanctions for constructions all over the city.

In a reply filed by SRBIL’s whole-time director,Shubhakaran Laharuka,it is stated that the PIL is maliciously filed,after a gross delay at the behest of a rival builder. The decisions taken by the BMC are “ordinary course of business” and they have “obtained all the valid permissions including the IOD,CC,highrise approval,environmental clearance,CFO’s NOC,Civil aviation NOC and various other permissions…”

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