The developer should first clear transit rent arrears of Rs 6 crore, pending for the last five years, and submit fresh written consent of 51 per cent of the 228 residents of the 12 chawls before it receives clearance, they have said.
In a letter to principal secretary, housing, and chief officer of Mumbai Building Repairs and Reconstruction Board (MBRRB), the tenants, waiting for the redevelopment project to take off for more than 10 years, have demanded that the authorities verify the claims of the developer that he has consent from more than 51 per cent of the residents.
The letter states that Shreepati Group of Companies had initiated the redevelopment of the 12 chawls in 1999, and in 2000, it had shown consent of 216 out of 228 tenants.
However, in 2002, the tenants were divided in two groups, and 85 tenants formed another society, called the June Chikhalwadi Rahiwashi Sangh (Samantar) and withdrew their consent.
In 2004, the developer took consent of the tenants again and claimed he had the requisite 70 per cent consent as per the new government resolution. However, both these consents were not scrutinised by MBRRB, said the letter by Suraj Shetty, one of the tenants.
“To add to this, the developer also added the consent of Manaji Block, which he claims he owns, and merged it with the consents of City Survey 309, which is illegal,” said Shetty, urging the MHADA authorities to verify whether the developer has requisite consent as per Section 79-A of Maharashtra Co-operative Housing Societies Act. Manaji Block is a 1000 square metre area adjacent to the Old Chikhalwadi chawls, which the developer claims he owns.
According to Shetty, the developer had falsely claimed that he had purchased the entire plot from the landlords Rathore family and misled the tenants to vacate their homes. In 2006-07, believing the developer’s claims, about 120 tenants vacated their homes and moved to an alternate accommodation provided by the developer and some began staying on rent. Till 2016-17, the developer was paying rent, but after he stopped paying, it became difficult for some residents to survive.
When the tenants approached MHADA authorities with their pleas, officials said the plot is acquired by MHADA and they should not have vacated their homes when the developer has not been given NOC by MBRRB.
According to the developer, the project was earlier under DCR 33 (7), and due to policy changes, when the area per tenant changed from 180 sq ft to 300 sq ft to 425 sq ft, the project was authorised under cluster development scheme under DCR 33 (9). The developer had also petitioned the urban development department to relax the condition of minimum road width for cluster development scheme from 18 m in DCPR 2034 to 12 m as per the old DCR.
Asked about demands made by the tenants, Rajendra Chaturvedi of Shreepati Group said, “I had a second meeting with a group of tenants and their solicitors today. The meeting was positive and conclusive. All issues have been sorted out.”
Asked about the road width issue, Chaturvedi said the issue has been cleared with the UD’s November 18 notification.