Mumbai: Can't Add Floors To Building? BMC Rapped For Refusal Based On Road Width

Mumbai: Can't Add Floors To Building? BMC Rapped For Refusal Based On Road Width

Denying the permission, the BMC had said that Bapty Road where the building is located is “too narrow”.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 09:41 PM IST
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Mumbai, February 28: The Bombay High Court has quashed the BMC’s communication refusing to grant permission to a cessed building in Tardeo to add floors beyond the seventh storey despite approving its redevelopment in 2017 to accommodate 110 tenants on 33 floors. 

Denying the permission, the BMC had said that Bapty Road where the building is located is “too narrow”. The court termed the civic body’s action as “utterly irrational and ex facie arbitrary”, and ordered for the approval by March 1.

The court noted that the road, which is less than nine metres wide, existed even when the BMC approved the building’s redevelopment plan. It was then called China Building and has been rechristened as Suleman Heights. The HC was hearing a plea by the building’s owner Gufran Suleman Qureshi, through advocates Naushad Engineer and Nigel Quraishy, seeking quashing of the BMC  communication.

BMC Granted Approval For Redevelopment:

“There is a road. Like many roads in Mumbai, it is narrower than it should be. The municipal corporation grants permission for redevelopment of a tall structure, one large enough to re-accommodate over a 100 tenants. It does so knowing that the road is not as wide as it should be,” a division bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Kamal Khata noted. 

The bench further noted that all 110 tenants vacated their homes and construction commenced and was built up to the seventh floor. However, it is not sufficient to accommodate all the tenants. Nor is it the original proposal, which was for much more built-up space.

“But it is only now that some functionary in the ward office awakens to the road width. He refuses permission to build higher. He says, astonishingly, that the road ‘is too narrow’. But the road is what it always was. It is not a living thing. It has neither expanded nor contracted since the time the original permission was sought and granted,” the bench added.

Permission Cannot Be Denied Later: Court

When the BMC filed an affidavit stating currently there is ‘no proposal’ to widen the road, the HC noted, “ .. it seems to be suggested nothing can be done. The tenants may suffer.”

The court emphasised that the Development Plan 2034 has a provision that the BMC “shall convert” all roads of width less than 9my to 9my and above as per site condition through MRTP Act or the MMC Act.

The court has clarified that it is not suggesting that the BMC disregard the road width, but where it has granted permission on a given proposal for development cannot be refused at a later stage.

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