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South Mumbai flat locked since 2008 leaves MHADA officials in a quandary

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
By Manjiri Chitre

A 3000 sq.ft house on the second floor of Mahaynoos Casbah near Girgaum Chowpatty in South Mumbai which has been locked since nine years, while a tenant of the same building – Urvi Gupta has been writing letters and complaints to MHADA officials to inspect the said second floor flat

In an interesting development, the Maharashtra Housing Area and Development Authority (MHADA) is in a fix over a dispute on a 3000 sq.ft house on the second floor of Mahaynoos Casbah near Girgaum Chowpatty in South Mumbai which has been locked since nine years.

Since 2008, a tenant of the same building – Urvi Gupta has been writing letters and complaints to MHADA officials to inspect the said second floor flat owned by landlady Khorshed Irani, which has been shut since several years.

Gupta, who is a travel consultant by profession, has been living in  Mayhnoos Casbah building since 55 years now with her parents, claimed that the flat has been unoccupied and locked out since 1992. The MHADA officials since then have conducted external repairs twice, however they were not allowed to touch the second floor.

“From 2008 to 2013, only external beautification was allowed. Irani had appointed one of her personal choice MHADA engineer once for inspection. However, he claimed that the place is satisfactory and stopped the inspection of the second floor,” said Gupta.

The building being a cess structure, the MHADA officials have the authority to carry out the repairs of the building, however, Gupta claims that the landlady is not willing to let them touch the second floor and conduct the audit of the said home.

“I want to get my flooring inspected and fixed,” said Gupta. However, the inspection of her flooring can only be done when the second floor is gauged, for safety purposes, claimed the MHADA officials. “If we proceed with the repairs of Gupta's flooring without gauging the second floor, it could damage the structure,” said one of the MHADA officials, on the condition of anonymity.

An engineer, on the condition of anonymity said, “It could damage the building structure and loosen the ends if a place isn't looked upon for so many years. It has been approximately 20 years since there has been any inspection of the flat. This could severely damage the building and put their lives in danger.”

According to D Mahajan, executive Engineer from D ward, MHADA, said, “We have asked for  police inspection to enter the house of the second floor now. We will carry out the inspection once we get the legal permission. The land lady has been extremely uncooperative with us. She never let us enter the second floor premises.”

MHADA officials claimed that the Authority has been bombarded with several mails from Gupta complaining about said matter.

Sumant Bhange, the Chief Officer, MHADA “The fight between the two ladies is making us stranded. Now, we are going to do our work legally. Our officials can't force our way into the matter.”

Irani, on the other hand, has claimed that the case about the second floor of the Chowpatty Mansion has been dismissed.

The MHADA officials had sent notices about the same to the Gamdevi Police Station, however, they have turned futile.  

Gupta has now written a letter to the Mumbai Commissioner of Police complaining that there is no response from the Gamdevi Police Station on the matter.

Sources said that the Commissioner of Police has taken this complaint forward to the Law and Order (LO) department of the Mumbai Police.

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