BMC to inspect Rani Mukerji’s bungalow

IN YET another case of alleged unauthorised construction, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is set to conduct an inspection of Bollywood actor Rani Mukerji’s bungalow in Juhu’s Vasanta Theosophical Society on August 30. Officials from the K-West ward said they have received complaints from a couple of activists, who have alleged that major structural repairs have been carried out inside the bungalow without taking the requisite permission.
One of the complainants, Nikitesh Chaubal, the chairman of an NGO named Aamhi Jagrut Mumbaikar, alleged that Mukerji has carried out illegal changes to the approved plans that were submitted earlier to the building proposal department. “She has increased the height of the basement and has changed the location of the staircases in the bungalow. According to the building plans, the structure is ground plus one with a terrace, which she has illegally covered,” he said.
Chaubal further claimed that as indicated in the permission issued by the civic body, Mukerji was granted a commencement certificate (CC) to make additions and alterations to Krishna Ram bungalow in 2014, which was only valid until 2015. Complaint letters submitted by Chaubal and another activist named Ganesh Kusumulu also stated that Mukerji has apparently taken up illegal construction without the requisite permissions. “The bungalow falls in the coastal regulatory zone and is also a part of a heritage plot. However, no permissions have been taken from either MCZMA or the heritage committee. Such manner of illegal construction has been taking place for a couple of years now but the BMC has not taken any action against her,” said Chaubal.
Civic officials said they had tried to conduct an inspection of the bungalow about 10 days ago but were not allowed to enter the premises. Prashant Gaikwad, assistant municipal commissioner of A Ward said the civic body will try to conduct another visit on August 30. “We had issued a notice to Mukerji under Section 488 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, which stated that the BMC is allowed to enter a building or land for inspection. We will try to conduct the inspection of the bungalow. If we are not allowed to enter for a second time, then we will have to take police protection,” he said. He added that the BMC has already procured the building plans and will compare it with the findings of the inspection after the visit.
When contacted, Mukerji’s spokesperson issued a statement, which read: “At the outset, I wish to state Ms Mukerji is an upstanding citizen of the country and the allegations of illegal construction occurring at her bungalow are completely baseless. Yes, the commencement certificate was taken first in 2014, it has been revalidated every year, and BMC can confirm the same. The height of the bungalow is as per the approved plans submitted to the building department while obtaining the commencement certificate. Lastly, the notice under section 488 received from K-west ward on July 3 was replied to on July 4, 2017. I trust this puts any ambiguity regarding the construction of the property to rest. The BMC has been extremely professional in all matters.”

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