BMC shocks Aaamir Khan

Mumbai: The local civic body has put on hold its permission given to Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan to connect his four flats in an apartment building in Pali Hill area following a complaint filed by one of the residents. The actor wanted to amalgamate all his four flats, located on different floors in the building, Marina Apartments, through an internal staircase. He owns one flat on the ground floor, two on the first and another on the second floor. Khan wanted to merge them by cutting a few parts of slabs and connecting them through an internal staircase in the ground plus three-storey building in Virgo Housing Society (of which Marina Apartments is a part). Khan last month obtained the required permission from the Building Proposal Department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). However, the civic body has now put the approval on hold following a complaint filed by a flat owner, Geneve De Sa, with the BMC. An official from the BMC Building Proposal Department confirmed the development but declined to provide further details. "Amir Khan procured the required permission from the BMC in mid-July and has started work. But one of the flat owners, Geneve De Sa, found "illegalities" in the merger plan and approached me to file a complaint," Shirish Sukhtame, a noted architect and friend of De Sa, told PTI. "I visited the online portal of the BMC where all such records are uploaded. I found that several key details were missing while procuring the approval, including non- destructive test (NDT) that is essential to carry out any alteration or amalgamation in old buildings," he said. "I went through the last few structural audit reports of the building and submitted my reservation against the approval given to the actor," said Sukhtame, an IIT graduate and a former president of the Practicing Engineers Architects and Town Planers Association (PEATA). "Civic engineers were satisfied by my submission and put the approval on hold," he said. When contacted, housing society chairman Manoj Sapru said Khan was allowed to carry out internal changes, subject to BMC approval, as he had followed due procedure. "We held an AGM of the society, where 9 of the 10 members gave a go-ahead to his plan, provided he (Khan) gets approval for it from the BMC. The only member who opposed the plan was the complainant. "The actor approached the BMC which gave its permission to the plan after cross-verification," Sapru said. The actor has not yet started work on the plan. The BMC has stopped the work but not cancelled the permission, the society chairman said. There was no response to multiple calls and text messages sent to the complainant. Khan was not available for comment on the issue.