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Mhada to break open locks on 64 premises in Esplanade Mansion

Lad told the court that no person currently occupies any premises in the dilapidated Grade 2A heritage structure.

Updated: Jun 05, 2019 05:21 IST

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Mumbai

Mhada has, however, sought the opinion of the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) on the repair and restoration of the structure. (HT Photo)

The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) on Tuesday informed the Bombay high court (HC) that it will break open locks and vacate 64 premises in Esplanade Mansion at Kala Ghoda — the oldest surviving cast-iron structure in the city and a UNESCO heritage structure – within a week. The structure has been declared unsafe for use, and occupants have failed to respond to the eviction notices issued to them, the authority told HC.

Advocate PG Lad, who represented Mhada, informed the division bench of justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and justice Gautam Patel that the authority will prepare an inventory of the movables/articles found in the mansion, which is more than 150 years old, and issue a public notice asking the occupants to collect the articles.

Lad told the court that no person currently occupies any premises in the dilapidated Grade 2A heritage structure.

He said Mhada has accepted the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) report, declaring the structure unsafe for use and beyond repairs.



Mhada has, however, sought the opinion of the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) on the repair and restoration of the structure.

Senior advocate Anil Sakhare, who represented the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said the report of the IIT-B committee is likely to be placed before the MHCC on June 12, when the fate of the heritage structure is likely to be decided.

Earlier, occupants of the building had approached the court challenging notices issued to them by Mhada, asking the tenants to vacate the premises immediately.

They alleged that although the building is repairable, the landlord is not interested in getting it repaired.

Acting on the petition, the HC had on July 31, 2018, directed the civil engineering department of IIT-Bombay to conduct a structural audit of the building and submit a report to the court.

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