In response to a query under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the civic body admitted that a commercial activity running from a residential building in Sion was unlicensed. However, it amazed RTI activists and residents of the building that civic authorities from the F/North Ward failed to take action against it despite this.
Residents of 38, West Building near Swami Nityanand Hall were troubled by the music blaring from the gymnasium spread over the second floor and claimed that the dumbbells and weight plates were making the 50-year-old two-storey structure weaker. Residents on the first floor were especially troubled by the noise created on their ceilings.
As they are tenants and not owners of the flats, they approached NGO Tarun Mitra Mandal to file an RTI application on their behalf, in which they sought to know if the commercial activity was authorised in the first place.
To conduct a commercial activity from a residential building, a change of user license is required and the query also sought a copy of any such license from the BMC.
In their reply, the building and proposal and the building and factory departments pf the BMC both denied having granted any user license change to the building.
“How can they say they haven’t given any permission and yet not act? Ideally, the BMC should have taken action on their own,” said Pramod Pawar of the NGO.
Director of the gym, Your Fitness Club Pvt. Ltd, Rizwan Sayed said, “We have all the necessary permission. A commercial activity was being run from this place before we moved here.”
Sayed, however, could not provide any proof of change of user licence. While landlord Bakul Parekh did not get back to DNA for comment, assistant municipal commissioner of the ward Narendra Barde said, “I am new to the ward. Please contact me after a few days.”