A year after a prominent newspaper reported about a 11-storey Juhu building with large car decks on each floor, the BMC has now ordered the demolition of certain portions of the high-end tower. A report prepared by civic chief Subodh Kumar also directed the builder, Pappu Satra of Shravan Developers, to pay a security deposit as a “deterrent against possible misuse of these car decks in future”.
Civic sources said the deposit, based on the stamp duty ready reckoner rates of developed land, could work out to over Rs 50 crore. “No occupation permission or water connection shall be granted to the building unless the deposit is paid to the corporation,” it said.
The order will jolt many builders who sell car deck areas to buyers and allow them to amalgamate this space into the apartment. There are at least such 80 projects sanctioned by the BMC.
The average size of a flat in the Juhu tower, portions of which are to be demolished on the BMC’s orders, was shown as around 2,000 sq ft. However,the builder, Pappu Satra of Shravan Developers, provided an equivalent space outside each flat for a car deck. Residents alleged that these car decks were sold as part of the apartment.
BMC officials said the total car deck area in the building was around 75,000 sq ft, which fetched the builder an additional Rs 150 crore (sold at the prevailing rate of about Rs 20,000 a sq ft in Juhu). Besides basement and podium parking, the builder was allowed to construct nine car park decks on each floor of the building, which has three wings of 11 floors each.In all, the building has 196 car parks (99 are located on habitable areas) for 33 flats. The project was approved when Jairaj Phatak was BMC chief.BMC chief Subodh Kumar’s report comes as a major boost for the local Gulmohar Area Society’s Welfare Group, which filed a writ petition in the Bombay high court, listing a slew of building violations.
A division bench told the petitioners to approach the BMC with its complaint. The municipal commissioner’s report will be submitted to the court. “This is a victory for us. We plan to expose another building scam near actor Jeetendra’s house in Juhu, which is much bigger than this,” said Ashoke Pandit, vice-chairman of the welfare group.
Shravan Developers has been ordered to demolish either the lily ponds and adjacent deck areas or equivalent areas of the building’s upper floors. “Owner shall exercise this option within a period of six weeks,” said the report.It also directed the extended portion of toilets, which are beyond approved plan, to be demolished. The commissioner also said the 11th floor can be constructed within the permissible floor space index (FSI)—the ratio of total built up area vis-a-vis the plot size. “It may be regularized by charging premium/penalty. Else the same shall be demolished,” said the order.
A few months ago, the BMC partially demolished the 11th floor because it was built without permission of the Airports Authority of India. The demolition was halted after sanction was procured from the authority.
In a presentation made to the commissioner, architect and Juhu resident P K Das said the developer constructed a swimming pool with a deck for every flat. However, it was approved by the BMC as a lily pond and provided behind the toilet block. The developer’s advocate said the construction was in accordance with the approved building plans and denied swimming pools were built under the guise of lily ponds. However, the BMC’s deputy chief engineer (building proposals) said the developer built much larger lily ponds than what was permitted by the BMC. “The size of lily pond was later restored in accordance with the approved plan with brick work,” he said. The report quoted Das stating that all toilets were extended to include the duct areas as usable floor area (120 sq ft/unit). “He pleaded that the extended portion of toilets be demolished,” said the report.
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