Esplanade Mansion’s repairs caught in legal tangles

A day after a balcony of the 130-year-old Esplanade Mansion, formerly known as Watson’s Hotel, came crashing down, the BMC on Monday disconnected power supply to the building.

A parked taxi was crushed by the debris falling from the fourth-floor on Sunday evening. The taxi driver Mahendra Yadav, who had stepped out of the vehicle minutes before to drink water, had a lucky escape. The road next to the building was still cordoned off on Monday in case more loose portion fall, and is likely to remain so for the next couple of days.

According to records, a court had provided ad-interim relief from eviction to the building’s owner and tenants, after MHADA declared it as dangerous.Now, MHADA will submit an affidavit apprising the court of the situation and seek directions.

The four-storey building had been declared a dilapidated and unsafe structure by MHADA in 2011, which asked occupants to vacate it. The owner and tenants had refused to pay Rs. 17.89 crore to MHADA for repairs, following which it was decided that occupants will repair the building.

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