Ambani pulls down footpath encroachment

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An RTI activist had alleged that BMC ‘bent rules’ to allow Mukesh Ambani’s mansion to take over the setback area.

More than a year after it was alleged that Mukesh Ambani’s 27-storey mansion on Altamount Road had encroached on a footpath and BMC had bent the rules to ‘regularise’ the anomaly, the civic body officials said the stretch has now been cleared.

A couple of weeks ago, the mansion’s staff removed a sloping bund wall and flower beds from the footpath abutting the Ambani residence, following a notice from BMC. The alleged irregularities were highlighted by Anil Galgali, an RTI activist who said the Ambani residence had encroached on 309.31 sq mts of setback area (the mansion is spread across 37,000 sq mts).

Galgali alleged that the architects of the mansion had handed over 309.31 sq mts of land to BMC in lieu of extra floor space index (FSI), but went ahead and constructed a sloping bund wall there. When the local ward office pointed out the irregularity (in December 2010), the architects cited security reasons for the construction, Galgali alleged.

The architects allegedly sent a letter to BMC, saying the Ambanis’ security consultants recommended that there shouldn’t be a public parking space in front of the entry and exit gates, and the bund wall was constructed to ensure safety. The architects promised to ‘maintain and guard the setback area till such time the BMC requires it’, Galgali said. Assistant Municipal Commissioner (D Ward) Parag Masurkar said, “The civic body has decided to reclaim the setback area, and asked the mansion staff to remove the construction.” (MM)

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