Residents of a Juhu society fought their way to prove that the building is in a good condition and doesn’t require any redevelopment. Situated on Swami Vivekananda (SV) Road, Vainatheya Cooperative society was built in the late 1980s. The building was initially a two-floor structure. Over the years, the owner of the building added additional floors, making it a five-floor structure with 13 flats. In 2019, the BMC declared it as dilapidated and listed it under C1 category, which means ‘extremely dangerous’.
What tenants say:
One of the residents said they received the BMC notice regarding its dilapidated status.
However, they claimed that a structural audit was carried by an engineer appointed by them. His report contradicts the one given by the BMC. “Despite this, the BMC did not remove our building from the C-1 list. We then moved the High Court six months ago,” said one of the residents. During this time, the BMC disconnected the building’s power and water supply. However, the residents resisted and the BMC was compelled to restart the services.
“The HC had passed an order, stating that our building is fit to live in. We submitted two different structural audit reports, both contradicting the BMC’s claim,” the resident said. He said they had appointed a builder to carry out minor repairs. “However, we found that he works with tainted contractors. So, we terminated the contract. We believe he approached the BMC as a vendetta,” he said.
What officials say:
“If any building is older than 30 years, we send them a notice, demanding a structural audit. We were just following protocols, but they moved the court and got the decision in their favour,” said the official.
“We don’t intend to cut water and electricity supply when the case is sub-judice. These claims are false. Also, this is a private property and residents are living at their own risk. If any mishap happens, the BMC should not be held responsible,” the official said.