Mumbai: Clearing the way for extension of the fifth and the sixth line of the Western Railway, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday ordered the owners of Shreejikiran building in Vile Parle, a portion of which has to be demolished for the project, to vacate it within 15 days.
A bench of Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor also directed the owners to make an application before the special land acquisition officer (SLAO) requesting to acquire the entire building, instead of a part of the building. The SLAO has been asked to decide on the application within four weeks of the filing of such an application.
The Bombay High Court has directed that part demolition be carried out in the presence of an executive engineer of the Public Works Department of North Mumbai.
The railways have claimed that they have acquired the necessary lands between Mumbai Central and Borivali for the extension of the fifth and sixth line, except for a part of the Shreejikiran building since the occupants were not vacating the same.
Vacate premises in 15 days: HC
The Bombay High Court has asked the owners of Shreejikiran buidling, Sudhir Dharia, 76 and his brother Ashok Dharia, 70, to vacate the premises within 15 days for one month so that the railways can go ahead with demolition of a part of the building which it acquired for the extension project.
Dharias approached the high court through advocate Amogh Singh challenging the acquisition notice issued by the Special Land Acquisition Officer for acquiring only a part of their four-storeyed building.
The building is divided in two parts which are separated by a staircase – the Dharias stay in one one portion and three tenants reside in the other portion, which is acquired for the extension project. The tenants have accepted the compensation and vacated the premises. However, the Dharias have contested partial acquisition contending that the building is in a dilapidated condition requiring major repairs and if partial demolition is carried out then there are chances that the building may collapse.
Their advocate Amogh Singh told the court they are not opposing the acquisition since it is a public project but urged that the court direct the authorities to acquire the entire building.
The authorities have acquired just a part of the structure. But the entire structure and the land on which it stands, belongs to me, argued Singh. “Once part of it is demolished, it will be inhabitable. Some compensation may be considered. I am not saying the project should be affected,” argued Singh.
Advocate Suresh Kumar, appearing for the railways, said that they will use modern technology to cut the building and the residents won't even feel any vibrations.
Singh pointed out that the authorities have awarded compensation to the tenants for the structure. However, no compensation has been awarded for the entire structure and the land on which it stands.
When the CJ asked the railways to consider the same, Kumar said that they have already awarded the necessary compensation.
“Perhaps supplementary compensation will be needed,” added the CJ.
The court has also asked state advocate Himanshu Takke to ensure that the demolition takes place in the presence of an executive engineer from the PWD.