Mumbai : Juhu resident Jalpa Mehta got the shock of her life when guards deployed at Mumbai's Hotel Renaissance damaged her Rs 35 lakh worth Audi car at the hotel's entrance on June 2, reports Mumbai Mirror.
A get-together at the swanky hotel, lunch and lots of chitchat: This was what Jalpa Mehta had planned a perfect celebration for her friend's birthday on June 2. Instead, she had to helplessly watch the front of her new Audi worth Rs 35 lakh get mangled at the hotel's entrance.
Jalpa and her friends were about to enter Powai's Hotel Renaissance at 3 pm on Wednesday when the steel bollards installed at the entrance accidentally went up, smashing into the under-carriage of the car and damaging parts of the engine.
The bollards had been installed to foil a terror attack. Jalpa, her friends Jignasa Chhatrapati, Bhavna Shah and Nikita Jain, and the driver, Chandan, were rattled by the loud bang as the car crashed against the bollards.
They realised their very lives were in danger when billows of smoke started emanating from the car, fearing the car would blow up.
Post the accident, Jalpa, determined to nail the negligent party, insisted on watching CCTV footage. She was sure her driver was not at fault. “As I was sitting in the front, I could see everything that happened just before the crash. I clearly saw the guards signalling us to go ahead. The bollards, which were up as we approached the gate, had gone down. Just when my car was going past the entrance, a few bollards sprang up again. Had a bollard struck the fuel tank, who knows, we all would have been charred!” Jalpa told Mumbai Mirror.
Initially, she claimed, the hotel authorities refused to take any blame for the incident, but they were more accommodating once she had seen the CCTV footage.
“The footage revealed a guard had asked us to go and had also signalled another guard to put the bollards down. After watching the footage, the hotel authorities admitted there was a technical problem in the bollards' operation,” she said.
Jalpa alleged that the hotel staff promised to call her after sorting out the issue with the guards at the entrance. “But nobody has called me; worse, they are now not answering my calls.” She has written an e-mail to Hotel Renaissance management, a copy of which is with Mumbai Mirror.
As far as the car goes, Audi dealers have quoted repairs worth Rs 6 lakh. Said Hemant Kokate, service advisor at Aadya Motors, the authorised service centre of Audi, “The initial check on the car says the bumper is damaged and so are radiator, condenser and oil cooler. The engine is being dismantled and the damage could turn out to be a lot more than what we see now.” Jalpa's friend Jignasa, who was in the car at the time of the accident, asked: “Who would've been responsible had someone been killed?”
The spokesperson of Hotel Renaissance declined to comment. Also, officers of Tops Security, guarding the hotel's entrance, chose to not speak about the issue.