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Buildings on the brink: A disaster in the offing at Manjul Darshan

11:47 PM Aug 01, 2021 | Sachin Gaad

It's been eight years since the two storey Manjul Darshan, located in Borivali (East), has been declared dangerous by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). However, barely any progress has been seen with respect to its redevelopment.

The building, located at Kasturba Road Number 1, near Borivali railway station, is over 60 years old and has 24 tenants. Too old and dilapidated for inhabitation, it has only its original four tenants residing in it. Two have rented their flats and the remaining 18 flats are locked.

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BMC had first issued a notice declaring it under the C1 category in 2013. The landlord then sold the building to a developer, hoping for early redevelopment. However since then, nothing much has changed. The civic body had also disconnected the electric and water connection, leaving the residents with no option but to approach the Bombay High Court. After hearing the parties, the court had ordered the civic body to restore the electric and water connection only after the residents gave in writing that they are staying there at their own risk.

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The C1 notice also puts restrictions on the building's repair as well. "Of the 24 original tenants, only four are residing here. They can't afford to buy another house or rent another flat, " said a resident on the request of anonymity.

"I am ready with the redevelopment plans. Documentation is also ready and all the tenants have also given their consent. As soon as the civic body issues a tenancy acceptance letter, I will start the redevelopment," said the developer Kiran Ramdya.

The BMC officials could not be reached for comment. However, MLA Sunil Rane from Borivali said, "There are multiple angles into such cases. If the civic body is not giving the requisite papers or permissions, then they must have their reasons. Only after studying the issue in detail, I can comment, " He added.

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