Residents of a Gaothan building at Khar's Chuim Village have alleged that a man residing in the same society, has been carrying out illegal construction in his building, despite a stay order given by the high court.
According to the residents, the alleged illegal construction on the original ground plus attic structure, that stands on a plot measuring 450 sq ft, has been going on since the last year and has increased horizontally, encroaching on the main road.
"Despite repeatedly bringing the matter to the notice of BMC, the authorities haven't taken any action. In fact, the H-West ward was supposed to furnish the court with the documents in the last few hearings. However, there was no representation from the ward in the last few hearings," said Andrew Monteiro, who stays next to the structure.
Monteiro informed that last year, when the matter was initially brought to the notice of BMC, a cosmetic demolition was carried out by the ward, due to which even his rooftop was damaged. "Ever since, the structure has been covered with scaffolding, the construction is being clandestinely carried out inside," he alleged.
According to the documents obtained by the residents through an RTI query, the portion of the structure which has come up on the road would have been affected by the civic body's road cutting plan. "Despite that, the owner without the requisite permission started carrying out illegal constructions. The current structure is not in accordance with the rules for buildings in Gaothan areas. Moreover, it doesn't have the coastal regulatory zone clearance," said Dinesh Jain, another resident.
Residents claim that a week ago, road-digging work was being carried out around the structure. "When there is a stay order, how can such work be carried out so blatantly?" asked Jain.
However, assistant commissioner of H-West ward Prashant Sapkale, refuted the allegations of the ward's non-cooperation. "We have been busy with the elections. In the next hearing, we will provide all the required documents to the court and take action as per the court's order," he said.
On the other hand, Dereck Vaz, the owner of the building told dna that he is not carrying out any construction after the stay order. "People are free to say whatever they want. I have all the required permissions from the BMC for whatever construction I have carried out so far. However, since the stay order, I haven't carried any extra construction work in my house," Vaz said.