Eighty families live in four wings of Pramila Nagar Society in Dahisar
MUMBAI: Observing that it cannot allow people to die in building collapses, the Bombay high court granted residents of a dilapidated building in Dahisar (west) four weeks to vacate. It clarified that until then, they shall reside there at their own risk.
“Because we are scared. It is not giving us pleasure to remove you from the building. We can’t allow people to die like this,” a bench of Justices Shahrukh Kathawalla and Riyaz Chagla said on Friday.
The building, Pramila Nagar Co-operative Housing Society Limited, at Kandarpada had challenged a notice issued by the BMC, asking 80 families to vacate all its four wings within seven days.
The housing society’s petition said that due to the lockdown, there was a delay in getting redevelopment permissions. It also said that it is risky for members to shift due to rise in Covid-19 cases in Mumbai as over 50% of the residents are senior citizens.
The society’s advocate, Karl Tamboly, sought at least three months to vacate. “You’ve asked for development permission, you also want to remain inside. This approach of tenants is why people are dying. What will happen if the building collapses?” asked Justice Kathawalla.
When Tamboly said that the building is not in a bad shape, Justice Kathawalla responded: “Every tenant who comes here says that.”
Tamboly said that if occupants have to leave now, they will be roofless as other societies have imposed restrictions, disallowing leave-and-licence agreements. “There are three or four ladies (sic) who are pregnant,” he said.
The judges then said they would grant four weeks if the society undertakes to vacate, adding that no further extension shall be granted to any party to vacate premises.
Tamboly said one wing has been sealed due to five of a family testing Covid-positive. The bench directed they be shifted to hospital or covid care centre. The family has been allowed six weeks to hand over possession and directed not to reside on the premises.