Building Trouble: Was BMC safeguarding Amitabh, Raju Hirani?


Alleged illegal construction by Bollywood’s big names like Amitabh Bachchan and Raju Hirani has prompted the BMC to send them notices. Apparently, their luxury bungalows near Film City, Goregaon (East) have flouted norms and notices have also been sent to Pankaj Balaji, Sanjay Vyas, Haresh Khandelwal, Haris Jagtiani and Oberoi Realty under the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, on December 7, 2016.

Anil Galgali, activist, informs that the notices were sent after variations were observed by the BMC's P-South Ward Office, in contrast to the Approved Plan of the bungalows scheme in Oberoi Realty's Ciba Layout, near Film City. The BMC team which inspected the site had allegedly found many violations including internal walls not built as per the plans, inclusion of elevation projection spaces into the flats, and basement works not done as per the sanctioned plans.

It is being alleged that while the BMC did not wait for any clarifications and demolished the unauthorised constructions of actor Shah Rukh Khan, and also booked comedian Kapil Sharma for flouting laws, the civic body appeared to be dragging its feet regarding this matter which concerns Bachchan, and other celebrities.

Activist Galgali has also written letters to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BMC Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, wherein he demands immediate action on the bungalow scheme of which Bachchan and others are owners. He insists that the illegal extensions and enclosures be promptly demolished. In reaction, separate letters have been sent to the P-South Ward Assistant Municipal Commissioner and action threatened against those officials who could be colluding in the matter.

Incidentally, Bachchan, who is one of Hindi cinema's most influential superstars, appears to have a soft corner for the BMC. During the recent Mumbai rains which crippled the city, the BMC was roundly blamed by most sections for failing to safeguard the city. However, they had a sympathiser in the very diplomatic Mr Bachchan, who instead tweeted: “Don't try to fight nature... don't put blame... what did the most powerful nation in the World do against Hurricane Harvey??”

We presume Bachchan will not blame the BMC, who is being compelled to act against the illegal constructions either!