MUMBAI: The state Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill amending the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) Act, 1976, which empowers the authority to forcibly take over more than 14,000 cessed buildings in the city if owners and housing societies fail to redevelop them within a year of notification.
The MHADA Act Amendment Bill was passed following the collapse of cessed buildings this monsoon which claimed at least 20 lives.
The bill has a provision of paying transit rent to the tenants vacating the dilapidated buildings. The redevelopment of several buildings has been stalled due to disputes and litigation between owners and tenants.
The cessed buildings are divided into those built before 1940, before 1950 and before 1969. Most of these buildings are in dilapidated conditions and need urgent redevelopment.
“The amendment empowers MHADA to acquire buildings by giving six months to the landowners and six more months to the society to redevelop the structure. If they fail to do so, MHADA will take over the redevelopment and complete it within three years for the old tenants. MHADA can also tie up with private builders for the same,” an official from the housing department said.
MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) wants to invoke summary powers to evict BDD chawl residents who are not cooperating with its redevelopment project.
A senior MHADA officer, on the condition of anonymity, has confirmed that a proposal has been sent to the Urban Development Department (UDD). Once the department publishes the notification, action will be taken against those who do not cooperate with the project, an official said.
Under the MHADA Act 1976, the written consent and a no-objection certificate from not less than 70% of the occupants for the reconstruction of the proposed housing society shall make it binding on all the occupiers to vacate the premises.
The BDD chawls project is a prime redevelopment project in the city spread across 91 acres in Worli, Sewri, Lower Parel and Naigaon.
Around 16,545 residents live in the area. MHADA is the nodal agency for Worli, Lower Parel and Naigaon and is working on securing rights for Sewri. The authority is currently in the phase of conducting a survey to decide the eligibility of the occupiers.
The project has triggered a debate and residents have split into two groups of Shiv Sena and Congress supporters.
Kiran Mane, general secretary of the Akhil BDD Chawl Bhadekaru Hakk Sarkshan Samiti outlined his faction’s demands. “We are asking the government to transfer cash for the 14 sq ft component to each occupier’s account and we settle for 500 sq ft houses as against the 160 sq ft houses we have in the BDD chawl currently,” Mane said. “We will use the cash to pay maintenance at the housing societies we relocate to. For ten years we don’t have to pay any maintenance, except water and light bills. Also if we have a 500 sq ft house, we get an exemption on property tax.”
The Mane and Wagmare-led factions have accused each other of misleading the residents.
Congress spokesperson Raju Waghmare said his group was opposing the eligibility survey. “If the redevelopment is done under 33(5), we will get more than houses measuring more than 635 sq ft. We have opposed the eligibility survey as it is not required. We need permanent agreements from MHADA when they relocate us to transit buildings because we will not be able to fight for our rights if the projects are delayed.”
Waghmare said that the individual corpus fund amount is not negotiable and that a majority of the chawl’s residents are supporting him.