Vashi Plaza flouts fire norms: NMMC CIVIC BODY MOVES HC AF­TER TRADERS GET IN­TERIM RE­LIEF

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

A five-storey build­ing on plot num­ber 198 at sec­tor 20 in Nerul was de­mol­ished by Cidco on Thurs­day. The build­ing was con­structed by Vish­was Jairam Mha­tre. Of­fi­cials said Mha­tre had got a stay from the court a few months ago, when the struc­ture was one storey. He com­pleted the con­struc­tion and sold the flats. Four fam­i­lies were liv­ing in the build­ing.

The Navi Mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (NMMC) fire de­part­ment de­clared the 35-year-old Vashi Plaza Com­mer­cial Premises Co­op­er­a­tive So­ci­ety Ltd, one of the city’s busiest com­mer­cial build­ings, dan­ger­ous.

An in­spec­tion by the fire de­part­ment re­vealed hang­ing elec­tric ca­bles and an ab­sence of fire ex­tin­guish­ers.

The fire de­part­ment had in­spected the premises, lo­cated at sec­tor 17, un­der the Ma­ha­rash­tra Fire Preven­tion and Life Safety Mea­sures Act (MFPLSMA), 2006 and Rules, 2009 and is­sued in­struc­tions to the manag­ing com­mit­tee on June 13 to correct the anom­alies it found within a seven-day pe­riod. Ac­cord­ing to Vashi ward of­fi­cer Ma­hen­dra Singh Thoke, “Fol­low­ing a rein­spec­tion on June 20, we found that the in­struc­tions had not been com­plied with.”

“Since the norms spec­i­fied in the oc­cu­pancy cer­tifi­cate and MFPLSMA’s pre­ven­tive mea­sures have not been ad­hered to, the fire de­part­ment has stated that the build­ing is un­safe,” he added.

Shrikant Hin­dalkar, pres­i­dent of the so­ci­ety, said, “The builder main­tained the build­ing till we took over two years ago. It has been ne­glected for years.”

As not much re­pair and main­te­nance work has been done on the build­ing, is­sues such as leak­ages are preva­lent. “We have be­gun re­pairs and in­formed the NMMC that we need a month to carry out the work. We have awarded the con­tract for fire safety mea­sures and the re­pair of ca­bles,” he said.

Hin­dalkar said, “This is the first time we have re­ceived such a no­tice as the new com­mis­sioner has or­dered ac­tion. No­body can va­cate im­me­di­ately as their busi­nesses will be dis­rupted. We need an ex­ten­sion.”

“The so­ci­ety will dis­cuss the re­pairs that the build­ing re­quires in our gen­eral body meet­ing. We will consider de­mol­ish­ing and re­de­vel­op­ing it, if the struc­tural au­di­tor says to do so. We will seek the mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner’s per­mis­sion if that is the case,” he added.

Four­teen of the 34 traders of spice mar­ket of APMC whose galas were sealed by the mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion last week have got re­lief from the court which has or­dered that the seals be opened.

The NMMC has ap­proached the high court.

Deputy mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner Sub­hash In­gle said, “We had is­sued no­tices to 34 galas. The own­ers there have il­le­gally con­structed lofts. We have moved the high court.”

The traders had ap­proached CBD Be­la­pur court of civil judge (JD) Vashi, stat­ing that NMMC had sealed their stalls de­spite sta­tus quo by the court. They had also pleaded that per­ish­able stock kept in the galas will be de­stroyed if the seal was not opened.

Ad­vo­cate Ramesh Tri­pathi, who rep­re­sented the traders, said: “The court granted in­terim re­lief on June 14 to the traders yet NMMC went ahead seal­ing the galas de­spite our protest. They said they had not re­ceived any of­fi­cial in­ti­ma­tion.”

Tri­pathi said, “The traders said the seal­ing will af­fect the liveli­hood of the em­ploy­ees and math­adis. There are also per­ish­able items stocked in the galas which will be spoiled if not used or sold.”

The NMMC said many traders at the APMC spice mar­ket have re­sorted to large-scale il­le­gal con­struc­tions in their galas with­out tak­ing per­mis­sion. The traders dis­pute it claim­ing that they have the req­ui­site per­mis­sion from the APMC.

BACHCHAN KU­MAR

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