HC asks PWD, Shakti Mills representatives to discuss debris clearance

The court, which was hearing 'winding up' petition of the defunct Shakti Mills, had said the Public Works Department (PWD) could undertake phase wise steps to ensure the compound is secured.

hidden October 10, 2013 17:40:38 IST
HC asks PWD, Shakti Mills representatives to discuss debris clearance

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today directed the state PWD, the official liquidator and the representatives of Shakti Mills to hold a joint meeting to discuss about the Rs 17 lakh price quoted by the PWD to clear debris and shrubbery from inside the mills compound.

Justice NM Jamdar had on 26 September stressed the need to take urgent steps to secure the Shakti Mills premises in central Mumbai where a photojournalist was gangraped in August.

HC asks PWD Shakti Mills representatives to discuss debris clearance

A file photo of Shakti Mills. Sachin Gokhale/Firstpost

The court, which was hearing 'winding up' petition of the defunct Shakti Mills, had said the Public Works Department (PWD) could undertake phase wise steps to ensure the compound is secured.

"In the first phase the shrubbery and other debris can be cleared, in the second phase the compound wall can be fixed and barbed wire fencing can be done along with construction of sliding gates and security cabins. In the third phase, the structures inside the site which has become dilapidated and dangerous can be pulled down," the court had said.

Advocate Naushad Engineer, appointed as amicus curie to assist the court, today said that the PWD had sent a letter to the official liquidator on October 4 stating that the estimated price for the first phase was Rs 17 lakh. He added that the first phase can be completed in a month.

Senior counsel Praveen Samdani, appearing for the Shakti Mills Ltd, told the court that a joint meeting could be held where suggestions can be given for cost cutting. Accepting this contention, Justice Jamdar said, "Hold a joint meeting and discuss the matter. But please see to it that the work is not delayed."

The court has now posted the matter for hearing on 15 October.

Soon after the incident of gangrape on the photojournalist in the deserted premises, the High Court had directed the official liquidator and PWD officials to conduct joint inspection and submit a report.

The report had said that three measures are needed to be taken to secure the area: clearing the shrubbery and trimming the trees, fencing, and putting up lights. According to PWD, the entire process would cost Rs 1.50 crore.

PTI

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