SC lets tenants stay on in unsafe Mumbai building

New Delhi, June 14 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday permitted some residents of a dilapidated building in Mumbai’s Mazagaon to continue staying in it for next fortnight at their own risk and with no liability to the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai in case of any accident.

A bench of Justice Gyan Sudha Misra and Justice Madan B. Lokur passed the order after recording the statement of Mazagaon Tadwadi and BIT Chawl N.V.B.K. Samiti’s lawyers that the residents want to be allowed to stay on in the dilapidated building at their own risk and in the event of any eventuality, no responsibility would fall on the municipal body.

In the course of the hearing, the court observed: “You want to stay there for 15 days. What happens if building collapses It may or may not happen. If it does, it would create a huge problem.”

The court order came after counsel for the Samiti resisted an undertaking by the municipal corporation, which undertook to shift the occupants of building number 13 and the top floor of building number 14 to Mahul till necessary facilities were provided to make a transit camp habitable.

Pressing for shifting the residents, the municipal corporation told the court that the condition of one building and the top floor of another building was so rundown that it could put to danger the lives of the occupants.

The court was told that it would take 15 days to make habitable a transit camp, set up to accommodate them.

The Samiti’s counsel told the court that instead of shifting them to Mahul for 15 days, they could be accommodated in the nearby transit camp.

Attorney General G.E.Vahanvati, who appeared for the municipal corporation, said the residents would be shifted to Mahul by the municipal body and would be moved to transit camp in a fortnight after it was made habitable with necessary amenities.

He told the court that a 100 tenants in the building and those living on the top floor of the adjoining building had to be shifted to Mahul as conditions were so bad that anything could happen at any time.

“It is (condition of the buildings) so dangerous that we are not prepared to take any risk,” Vahanvati told the court.

The MCGM has sought 15 days to provide necessary facilities that include fixing of taps, and toilet doors to make the transit camp habitable.

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