The tragic case of 192 families that resided in Worli’s Shivshahi cooperative housing society, comprising 12 buildings (demolished seven years ago), highlights the mess in redevelopment projects in Mumbai.
Almost two decades after first initiating a redevelopment proposal, 12 years after appointing a builder and seven years after they vacated their flats, the residents were left high and dry by HBS Realtors (Wonder Value Realty). The prime 3-acre plot is located opposite the Glaxo property in Worli.
The buildings were demolished in 2014. Since 2019, though, the builder stopped paying their rents—displacement hardship allowance (Rs 70,000 to Rs 80,000 a month)—leaving these families in the lurch and forcing them to shift to far-off locations.
Some months ago, the harried society members approached Oberoi Realty that gave them an offer letter.
Incidentally, in 2007-08, Oberoi had dragged the same society to court, accusing it of reneging on a memorandum of understanding signed with it for redevelopment. Oberoi had lost the case against the society, which had then appointed HBS Realtors and IL&FS.
Oberoi’s new offer letter promises each resident a 1,025-square-foot flat with 425 car parking spaces in the rehabilitated tower. The developer will also pay the society Rs 27 crore to be distributed among the members as additional corpus since the previous builder did not pay the DHA.
Oberoi will also pay Rs 1 lakh a month to each member as DHA. “An amount of Rs 35.4 crore shall be payable towards the corpus of your members for the FSI up to 3.19 and which will be paid by us in proportion against each of your members being handed over possession of their respective flats,” it said.
“A further amount of Rs 61.44 crore will be paid as corpus on the FSI being 4…,” said the offer letter signed by the developer Vikas Oberoi.
The society has terminated its earlier agreements with HBS Realtors and given 100% consent to Oberoi to finish the project. The 3-acre plot has a saleable portion of almost 8 lakh sq ft.
The new agreement follows a harrowing experience faced by residents over the past decade with the previous builder.
According to the original agreement signed with the society in 2009-10, HBS Realtors was to demolish their old buildings only after constructing the rehab tower. This never happened. Residents alleged that the society’s managing committee amended the agreement twice that allowed their eviction before their rehab building was constructed.
Since the past two years, the builder stopped paying rents for their alternate accommodation nor was the rehab tower completed. The three-acre land on which the Shivshahi society stands, was leased to Mhada by the municipal corporation for 999 years for building EWS tenements for industrial workers. The buildings came up in 1950.
Shivshahi is just one of the five societies in the 34,000 sq m (8.5 acres) Mhada layout. Of this, Shivshahi occupies about 12,325 sq m (3 acres).