Probe ordered into NOC for Palais Royale refuge area: BMChttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/probe-ordered-into-noc-for-palais-royale-refuge-area-bmc/

Probe ordered into NOC for Palais Royale refuge area: BMC

Arguing for the petitioners,senior counsel Navroz Seervai told the High Court that the structure had left four floors vacant as refuge area,disregarding restrictions on the percentage of a floor that can be set aside for the purpose

Arguing for the petitioners,senior counsel Navroz Seervai told the High Court that the structure had left four floors vacant as refuge area,disregarding restrictions on the percentage of a floor that can be set aside for the purpose

In the PIL challenging the construction of Palais Royale,the upcoming 75-storey residential tower in Worli,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) told the Bombay High Court that the municipal commissioner has directed a probe into the grant of a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for refuge area in the swanky tower,allegedly in excess of prescribed norms.

The refuge area is the space meant to be kept open in high-rise structures as safety measure in case of emergency.

Janhit Manch,a city-based NGO,had filed a PIL alleging that construction of the tower has been carried out in excess of permissions granted in the commencement certificate.

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The PIL alleged that several illegalities in sanctions given for the construction undertaken by Shree Ram Urban Infrastructure Limited (SRUIL). The petitioner’s counsels had told the court that they contested the permissions granted to the building on seven-eight major grounds and 20 minor grounds.

Arguing for the petitioners,senior counsel Navroz Seervai on Monday said the structure had left four floors vacant as refuge area,disregarding restrictions on the percentage of a floor that can be set aside for the purpose.

Seervai referred to a section of the BMC’s affidavit,which read,“In the instant case,it is now realised that the recommendations for refuge area are far in excess of the norms for fire-fighting. The present municipal commissioner has directed to institute an inquiry as to how the then CFO (Chief Fire Officer) granted NOC for refuge area far in excess of the norms and the National Building Code.”

The affidavit,filed on September 18,has been signed by Rajeev Kuknur,chief engineer (Development Plan).

Seervai had earlier argued that out of 3,90,477 sq ft of the refuge area in the building,area measuring 2,89,676 sq ft has been sold as part of residential flats. According to him,this,along with the area allotted as deck-terrace area,means that each flat measures 2,064 sq ft.

Reacting to the affidavit,a spokesperson for SRUIL said,“We are complying with all the applicable regulations. We deny all allegations. All our work is as per law. The matter is subjudice and we cannot comment on it.”

The hearing of the case will continue on Wednesday.