Mumbai: Residents of old Chikhalwadi battle builder over chawl redevelopment – ET RealEstate

MUMBAI: The residents of Old Chikhalwadi, a prime 1.54 acre plot behind Bhatia Hospital in Tardeo, have written to state housing department and MHADA authorities requesting them not to give clearances to developer Shreepati Skies for redevelopment of the chawls.

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.

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Despite MahaRERA directions, buyers left in the lurch by Bhoomi Arcade – ET RealEstate

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MUMBAI: A group of home buyers from Bhoomi Acropolis project in Virar West are complaining that despite accepting possession on MahaRERA directions in March 2019, more than a year later, developer Bhoomi Arcade Associates have not provided them basic amenities like proper electricity meters, potable water connections, and formation of their society.

Acropolis is a large township project comprising ten 15-storey building in Virar with more than 600 residents. Home buyers booked flats in this project in 2013 on the assurance that they would be given possession in 2015. When the possession was delayed, home buyers began MahaRERA was set up from May 2017, they approached Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority(MahaRERA) for possession of flats, and few also wanted to seek refund of their investments and exit the project.

Ankush Dewan was among those whose complaint was heard by MahaRERA. Dewan had booked a flat in December 2015 in Acropolis Phase II and was promised possession by March 31, 2016 as per the registered agreement but was delayed. The developer contended that the firm was facing mitigating circumstances beyond its control but agreed to hand over possession within next 6 to 8 months.

In his January 30, 2018 order, MahaRERA chairman Gautam Chatterjee observed that the developer had put December 2021 as the revised date of project completion and it was unreasonable. As per Section 4 of Maharashtra Real Estate Rules, the revised date has to be commensurate with the extent of balance construction, and therefore Chatterjee asked the developer to provide possession by May 2018 with Occupancy Certificate or be liable to pay interest for the delayed period from June 2018.

Besides Dewan, other residents who approached MahaRERA seeking refund included Amit Wadhwani, Austin Pillai, Nalini Saxena, Suraj Sharma. “We had filed seeking refund, but MahaRERA chairman convinced us that we should not exit the project, take possession and the developer would complete all his obligations. If he doesn’t, we could approach him again. Accordingly we took possession May 2019 onwards,” said Amit Wadhwani, one of the complainants.

However, more than a year later, they are struggling without these amenities. “The water is brought by tankers and we are relying on bottled water for drinking. The power supply has been obtained temporarily from neighbouring Rustomjee project. We still don’t have electricity meters, no geysers, inverters. Our society is yet to be formed,” he said.

Wadhwani says water has been seeping in his seventh floor flat. “I can understand if it is an old building but this is brand new construction. I have already got the seepage repaired twice, but it continues. When we question the developer, they blame HDIL from whom they purchased the land and say that company was supposed to obtain power and water clearances from Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC). But, as a home buyer, we are not concerned with a third party,” he told Mirror.

Another resident Austin Pillai said he booked his flat in December 2016 with the promise of possession by March 2017, but the developers representatives started dilly-dallying as the deadline neared. Frustrated by the delay, he approached MahaRERA. “After I filed the complaint, the developer was ready to offer possession. But, I was hesitant to take it because municipal water and power meters were not yet installed. But, the developer promised that it will be available in a few months after taking the possession. So I took possession in May 2019. Now it has been more than a year, both these things are still not available. My complaint is still pending with MahaRERA, and I hope that these amenities are available soon,” said Pillai.

When they approached MahaRERA again, the home buyers were told that they will have to file a fresh complaint as they had taken possession. “This has caused further confusion. We took possession on MahaRERA’s directions, and were told to come back if the developer doesn’t comply. Now when we go back to MahaRERA, they want us to file a fresh complaint, pay complaint charges again,” Wadhwani said.

When Mirror repeatedly tried to contact Chaitya Mehta, Director, Bhoomi Arcade Associates, there was no response to calls, messages and mails.

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