HC asks LIC to submit proposal to rebuild its heritage bldg

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Mumbai, Jan 19 (PTI) The Bombay High Court today askedthe Life Insurance Corporation of India to file, by February28, a proposal for re-development of its century-oldheritage building in the upscale D N Road area of southMumbai.

The direction was given by division bench of Justices P BMajmudar and Amjad Sayed. Judges also asked LIC to give atime-frame for reconstruction.

LIC has moved the High Court urging that the condition ofthe building has deteriorated in the last three years; and hassought permission to rebuild it.

But tenants allege that LIC neglected to carry out therepairs and argue that they may be allowed to rebuild it. LICcontends that it is the owner, hence only it could do that.

Known as General Assurance Company building, thisthree-storey heritage structure is the only one in this primelocality without any occupants at present. It was constructedin 1908 with cast iron columns and stone and brick walls.

The building first suffered damage during the BombayDocks explosion in 1940s when a ship carrying a cargo ofcotton bales and 1400 tons of explosives caught fire andtriggered two blasts off Mumbai port.

Then, in the heavy rains last year, a portion of thebuilding''s ceiling fell.

During the hearing a week ago, the court was informedthat Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee had been added asparty to the petition, as it will have to grant permission torebuild the heritage structure.

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