Builder usurps BMC plot, submits plan to construct 39-storey tower

MUMBAI: Attempts by a builder appointed by a housing society to encroach on a BMC land and gain incentive to construct additional floors in a redevelopment project at Oshiwara have been foiled by civic officials. The builder had initially obtained permission to construct 39 floors after demolishing 2 four-storey Mhada buildings of Prabhakar Kunte housing society. But he showed an adjoining plot reserved as a recreational ground (RG) by the BMC as part of the society's existing premises. The society and builder claimed that both the plots carried the same CTS number, they even approached the court and obtained a stay order against the BMC some years ago. The fight between the builder and BMC has been going on since the last seven years. The builder amended the plan last month to reduce the number of floors to 30, but he was not ready to give up the RG plot. On Saturday, the BMC demolished the boundary wall, which the builder had constructed around the land after amalgamating both the plots, and took back their land. The society has threatened to file a contempt of court case against the civic officials, said sources. The society secretary was unavailable for comment.The row dates back to 2008 when the builder was appointed to redevelop the society. Two years later, he submitted a proposal to construct a 39-storey building on the plot. Civic officials said the description provided as part of the design mentioned the original area of the society premises, but in the design both plots were amalgamated. The builder also showed that the RG plot belonged to the society in an attempt to obtain additional construction rights. The builder obtained an NOC from Mhada to support his claim and allegedly used his influence to get initial BMC permission to construct the 39-storey building. But the BMC took the matter to court."The society has misled the court after stating that both the plots in their possession have the same CTS number," said Prashant Gaikwad, assistant commissioner of K-West ward. "The RG plot belongs to us. They have encroached the plot, which was kept for road widening and RG. We will inform the court about it."