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100-year-old Mumbai building to be razed

100-year-old Mumbai building to be razed

Mumbai, Aug 16 (UNI) The Bombay High Court has given a go ahead to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to demolish a century-old dilapidated building in south Mumbai and directed its occupants to vacate the premises.
The court noted that the building 'H N Petit Widows Home' was located on a busy road and in the event of any untoward incident, it could cause loss of lives.
A Division Bench of Justices R D Dhanuka and Kamal Khata upheld the BMC technical advisory committee's (TAC) decision that the building was in a dilapidated and dangerous condition and had to be demolished.
Based on the report, BMC issued notices asking the tenants to vacate the premises. A few occupants of the building and tenants who run shops on its ground floor refused to vacate and moved the High Court arguing that the structure only needed minor repairs.
The ground plus five floor structure is more than 100 years old. It was used for providing hostel facilities to widows.
Due to the building's poor condition, the widows residing there were moved to another hostel in 2019.
While allowing the BMC to demolish the structure, the court in its order noted that the TAC had rightly formed its opinion and said it was not inclined to form a differing opinion.
"If this building is allowed to be retained, if any untoward incident occurs then there will be a loss of lives not only of the occupants of the building but also passersby," the bench said.
The court further held that the plot on which the building stands also abuts the proposed Metro rail alignment and falls within the influence zone of station areas.
If the building is demolished and is not reconstructed, then the tenants have an alternate remedy in law, it added.
The court said it cannot accede to the request of the petitioners, who are occupants/tenants of the ground floor, to repair the building as this would protect their interest but would ignore the rights of the building's landlord and other occupants.
The court directed the occupants to vacate the premises within three weeks so that the building could be razed.
If the occupants do not vacate the premises, the BMC can take forcible possession and carry out demolition, the court said.

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