The Commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) told the Bombay High Court that it has ordered demolition of a century-old dilapidated structure owned by LIC in south Mumbai.
A division bench headed by Justice A S Oka had last month directed the MCGM Commissioner to convene a meeting and take a decision on whether demolition is required or repair work needs to be carried out to restore the building.
The direction was passed on a petition filed by LIC seeking demolition of the building and challenging a recommendation of the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee to preserve the building as it is a heritage structure.
The civic commissioner told the High Court that a decision to demolish the building has been taken.
The HC was also informed that the team which will carry out the demolition has been asked to preserve any heritage pieces in the building and restore it when the new building will be constructed.
The heritage committee and the tenants of the building, however, raised an objection to the demolition order and sought time to challenge it.
The High Court, while granting them three weeks time to challenge the demolition order, asked the corporation not to initiate any action towards demolition until then.
LIC (formerly the General Assurance Company) building, a three-storey brick-and-stone structure, was constructed way back in 1908. It housed offices of companies like Bisleri, the National Insurance Corporation, Western India Typewriter Co and the Hornby Commercial College.
A few years back, following heavy rains, a portion of the ceiling had collapsed and all the tenants were evacuated.