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Mumbai: Malad’s tallest tower gets a month to pull down illegal office

The BMC has finally served a demolition notice to Auris Serenity, the tallest society in Malad, over an illegal office constructed on the society premises. The civic body conducted an investigation into  the matter after mid-day, in a series of reports, highlighted how the society chairman Sonu Jalan and the committee had misused society funds to the tune of Rs 46 lakh to illegally construct an office in the society. The BMC has, in its notice dated October 31, given the society a month’s time to pull down the office.

The notice issued by BMC’s P North ward stated that the civic body had appointed a designated officer to probe the matter. The officer reported that the society carried out unauthorised construction of the society office as well as internal cabins on podium level 3 of the building tower. The notice stated, “The society has commenced, undertaken or carried out development or instituted or changed the use of land/premises as described which is not in accordance with the permission granted or in contravention of any condition subject to which such permission has been granted… You are, therefore, hereby called upon to reinstate/restore/remove the unauthorised development/changes in the land/premises…within one month from receipt of this notice.”

“On failure to comply with the aforesaid requisition,the unauthorised work will be demolished by MCGM at your risk and cost and you will also be liable for prosecution,” it added. Jalan did not respond to mid-day’s calls and messages. Following the notice, society members held an emergency meeting on November 7 to discuss the matter. One of the residents said, “We are grateful to mid-day for highlighting the illegal construction carried out by Jalan. We were forced to pay the money for construction and want the committee to return the same. Jalan and the committee are responsible for this.”

“We had filed complaints with BMC, SRA and the police, but nothing happened. It was only after mid-day reported on the matter that the investigation started. We want strict action against Jalan and other members of the society committee,” he added. Sonu Jalan was appointed as chairman of the 58-storey Auris Serenity Tower-1 provisional committee in Malad West in 2021. All society members had paid 18 months’ maintenance charges in advance to the builder before taking possession of their flats. However, they were repaid only 13 months’ amount.

Residents alleged that Jalan had spent the remaining money on a swanky society office and organising events without their consent or requisite permissions. The committee had also allegedly barred those who refused to pay further maintenance charges from using the lift. A resident said, “The provisional committee used up all the funds for the illegal construction of the society office, installing CCTV cameras and replacing BMC pipelines without any approval or vote or sharing any quotations in meetings.”

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