Bombay HC orders builder to deposit Rs 50 crore
Irked at the overdecade-long delay in starting a redevelopment project in Byculla, the Bombay high court in a first-of-its-kind order has directed the developers to deposit Rs 50 crore to test their seriousness in executing the work.
The amount has to be deposited by April 15 with Mumbai Building Repairs and Reconstruction Board, a unit of Mhada. If the builders fail to deposit it, Mhada can initiate proceedings, including cancellation of approvals, acquiring the property and inviting proposals anew for its redevelopment, the court said.
Mohammed Bux building was demolished in 2010 and around 100 tenants were left in the lurch as neither alternative accommodation was provided to them, nor transit rent paid for years. “We cannot countenance a waiting game resulting in collapse of urban housing. There is a crisis prevailing in cities like Mumbai where occupants and tenants languish in transit accommodation or are at the mercy of developers, with meager amounts paid to them. The plight of the occupants of old and dilapidated buildings is for everybody to see,” said a division bench of Justice SatyaranjanDharmadhikari and Justice Burgess Colabawalla.
The bench pointed out several provisions in law that give benefits and incentives to builders who bring down dilapidated buildings and undertake redevelopment. “The proactive role that is expected to be played by… Mhada… is never attempted, leave alone taken to a logical conclusion and end…. Mhada is doing nothing for tenants or occupants and they continue to suffer…” the court said.