Following a series of reports by this paper, pre-school operating out of crumbling building packs its bags even as other occupants of the premises remain foolishly adamant
The Podar Jumbo Kids' pre-school in Khanna Apartment. Pics/Tanvi Phondekar
A day after mid-day's report that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had issued the second notice asking tenants in the dilapidated Khanna Apartment in Worli to vacate it, yesterday the pre-school Podar Jumbo kids' and Godrej Nature's Basket shut their operations.
Flora restaurant which is still being run in the crumbling Worli building
However Rakhangi store, Flora Hotel and Ullalkar garage still run their businesses in the building.
Speaking to mid-day, President, Podar Education Network, Dr Swati Popat Vats said, "The Podar management upholds safety of children as its first priority, and thus in coordination with the franchise, the decision was taken to keep the centre closed and pursue relocation. There are many holidays this month, and the balance working days that the children will miss will be covered when we reopen. Parents have been taken into confidence and they support this decision."
Support and respect BMC
Meanwhile Godrej Nature's Basket also confirmed that after receiving the intimation from the BMC, they shut down the operation of their store in Khanna Apartment on August 1. "We support and respect the municipal corporation's concern for safety of the citizens and accordingly shut down our operations of the store," said Avani Davda, managing director, Godrej Nature's Basket.
On July 31, mid-day first reported that despite BMC's notice to the owners and occupiers to immediately vacate the building as it is in dilapidated condition and a threat to the life of people entering it, Podar Jumbo Kids' pre-school and other tenants, who are running a hotel and general stores, refused to shift until the structural audit report came out.
On Friday, when mid-day reached Khanna Apartment, even after the six days of the second notice, the other stores in the premises were running their business as usual.
After the first notice issued on July 29 by BMC G-south ward, the ward officer told mid-day that his next step would be police action to vacate the building, especially the pre-school, which was endangering the life of children. But BMC issued the second notice as the tenants alleged that they hadn't received the first notice.
"As the notice issued against the owner and tenants in Khanna Apartment was under Section 353B, I was allowed to stop the supply of electricity, water and also file a police complaint. But after mid-day did a story, some tenants met me and denied receiving any notice from us. On August 5, I issued individual notices to all the tenants," said Prashant Sapkale, ward officer of G-south ward.
He added, "But we haven't received any intimation from the owner or the pre-school that they have stopped functioning in the premises."
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