Consumer forum asks Thane co-op housing society to pay Rs 5 lakh to member for ignoring his leakage complaint for 16 years

Mumbai :  A Thane co-operative housing society has been ordered by the consumer forum to pay Rs 5 lakh as compensation to a member for neglecting the leakage problem in his top floor flat for 16 years.

The  Thane District Consumer Forum observed that Chandra-vadan Co-operative Housing Society had failed to provide services to its member Ulhas Karkare, who had paid necessary funds for repairs of the building.

Karkare, who resided on the top floor of the ground plus three-storey building, said in his complaint to the consumer forum that the leakage problem started in 1997 and that the society turned a blind eye to the problem despite his repeated complaints. This led him to register a complaint against the society before the forum.

“The leakage started in 1997, when the complainant’s flat started developing cracks, and it started leaking. When he addressed the problem to the office-bearers of the society they did not pay heed to his complaint,” says the complaint.

During 2003-2006, the bedroom of Karkare’s flat started developing cracks and water seeped in through the cracks. Again he informed the society, but the office-bearers turned a blind eye to his complaint. He then spent money to repair the leakage. However, the problem persisted, he said in his complaint.

Karkare mentioned that he not only suffered mental harassment due to this problem but his wife slipped and fell in the house on account of the water from the leakage. She was treated in hospital.

The forum noted that Karkare had paid Rs 4,000 toward the society’s building repair fund, but the society did not care to do anything about his problem.

Asked to reply to the complaint, office-bearers of Chandra-vadan claimed that the damage in Karkare’s flat was the result of alterations that he carried out. However, Karkare produced evident to show that he was compelled to make alterations during the course of repairs.

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