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‘Over half of Mumbai varsity buildings without civic body clearance’

IANS | Mumbai |

As many as 36 out of the 61 buildings of the University of Mumbai at its Kalina Campus are in regular use without the mandatory “Occupation Certificate” (OC) issued by the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation, rendering them technically illegal, an RTI reply has revealed.

The Kalina Campus at Santacruz east, close to the Mumbai Airport, came up between 1975-2016 in a bid to decongest the existing varsity premises at the cramped Fort Campus in south Mumbai, and RTI activist Anil Galgali recently sought information about the critical documents like commencement certificates, intimation of disapproval and occupation certificates of its 61 buildings.

“Shockingly, the BMC Building Proposal Department’s Deputy Chief Engineer, Special Cell, informed that on the Kalina Campus, which is CTS No. 4094, a majority of the buildings do not have the mandatory OC,” he said.

According to the RTI response, Galgali said of the 61 buildings for which the university authorities had submitted proposals, only 24 buildings have been granted full OC, while one building has been issued a partial OC.

These granted OCs include Ranade Bhavan, Tilak Bhavan, MJ Phule House, WRIC Guest House, SP Ladies Hostel, Dnyaneshwar Bhavan, C.D. Deshmukh Bhavan, Babasaheb Ambedkar Bhavan, Abdul Kalam Building, Phirozeshah Mehta Bhavan, Annau Bhau Sathe Bhavan, the Glass House, Animal House, Eurasian Studies building and the Vice-Chancellor’s Bungalow, besides some staff quarters.

The lone building which has been issued only a partial OC houses the university’s Cultural Centre on the campus, he added.

All other major buildings like Students Canteen, J.N. Library, Rajiv Gandhi Centre, Shankarrao Chavan Teachers Training Academy, J.P. Naik Bhavan, Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil Boys Hostel, MDK Ladies Hostel, Pandita Ramabai Ladies Hostel, Alkesh Dinesh Modi Gallery and many more continue to be in use without the requisite OC.

Following the RTI revelations, Galgali has written to Governor C. V. Rao, who is also the Chancellor of the varsity, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Education Minister Vinod Tawde highlighting the issue and demanded an enquiry into this major lapse by authorities concerned.

“The buildings without OC are frequented by thousands of students, officials and visitors daily. No OC from the BMC clearly implies that the projects may not have been executed as per the sanctioned plans despite available FSI,” he said.

Galgali said that the fault apparently lies with the university authorities and the project architects, who should be directed to resubmit the amended plans, rectify the wrongs or shortcomings in the building projects and acquire the OC on top priority.