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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South-Central Mumbai luxury home sales records sharp pick up in October – ET RealEstate

MUMBAI: Luxury apartments in south-central Mumbai, an area that was saddled with supply, saw a sharp pickup in sales in October, providing relief to the developers who were struggling to offload inventory after Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the real estate market.

A reduction in stamp duty, festive offers, ready stock and minimal impact of Covid-19 on its target buyers helped boost sales in this upscale area .

South-central Mumbai localities – including Tardeo, Mahalaxmi, Worli, Prabhadevi, Byculla and Lower Parel – have witnessed a jump of more than 230% year-on-year in monthly sales to Rs 500 crore, showed data from Anarock Property Consultants.

In October last year, these localities had recorded sales of Rs 150 crore for apartments priced above Rs 5 crore.

“The limited-period reduction in stamp duty cut has had an impact across segments including even Mumbai’s hyper-expensive luxury locales,” said Anuj Puri, chairman, Anarock Property Consultants. “At such steep ticket prices, even HNIs (high net worth individuals) are not impervious to potential savings. The offers currently rolled out by developers are also pushing sales in these markets. The stamp duty cut alone helps buyers save at least Rs 12 lakh on a property worth Rs 4 crore, and the saving goes up as the average property cost increases.”

The Maharashtra government had reduced stamp duty to 2% from 5% till December-end and 3% between January and March 2021 in a bid to encourage home sales.

According to property brokers, the pandemic’s impact on clientele for such properties has been limited and these prospective buyers are largely scouting for ready homes or those nearing completion.

Developers expect the trend to continue during the festive season.

“October was the best-ever month for sales in the luxury and premium segment, with over Rs 400 crores of sales in just one month. This builds on the continued momentum since July,” said Abhishek Lodha, managing director, Lodha Group. “Consumers have a clear preference for ready homes and with limited ready supply, stamp duty cut, low interest rates and increased preference for home buying, we expect the sales in premium and luxury to continue to be strong.”

The stamp duty reduction not only helped convert pent-up demand in the mid-income and affordable segments but also prompted the conclusion of several large-ticket transactions in the city, and the trend is seen picking up further during the ongoing festive season. Several large transactions are getting concluded in Mumbai, the country’s most expensive property market, in the backdrop of reduced stamp duty charges and various offers.

South-central Mumbai is also witnessing this uptrend in sales.

These micro markets are known for their proximity to business hubs and traditional luxury pin codes of south Mumbai. These also house many high-profile names including industrialists, sports people, start-up founders and C-Suite professionals, and therefore the preference of this buyer segment continues to be in favour of the micro market.

Given the pickup in sales, the unsold stock in south-central Mumbai localities reduced by more than 5% in a year to 11,300 units at the end of September, showed the data. In 2019, unsold stock in these premium localities had risen 8% from a year ago. Therefore, with dipping inventory levels, luxury housing developers, who are active in these micro markets, are breathing easier now.



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MHADA provides roof to Bhanushali building residents – ET RealEstate

MUMBAI: After running from pillar to post, 21 families of Bhanushali building have been allowed to stay in the adjoining building at Tardeo until the allotted building’s repair work is completed.

On September 9, Mumbai Mirror published a report on the plight of these residents. After this, MHADA senior officers visited the spot for the first time, and instructed junior officers to speed up the repair work of the allotted building.

Haresh Chavda, one of the residents who had made representations to MHADA along with others, told Mumbai Mirror, “The electricity and water supply will be fixed in building number 10. We are allowed to stay there until building number 9 gets repaired. We thank Mumbai Mirror for highlighting our long-pending issues. Finally, we will have our own accommodations.”

Twenty-one families that survived the collapse of the Bhanushali building in Fort on July 16 didn’t have temporary accommodation as promised by MHADA until September 10. MHADA had claimed that they have all been assigned temporary accommodations but the residents were not allowed to stay there. Ten people died when a part of the 80-year-old building, which was due for redevelopment, fell during rains.

As per the survivors’ demands, MHADA soon gave them temporary accommodation in one of its buildings in Tardeo’s Chikhalwadi area. The allotment letters said they would be given flats in Building No 9 for a period of 12 months. As per MHADA rules, the families paid Rs 5,000 deposit and Rs 500 rent for two months.

They then received the allotment letters, MHADA officials told them there had been a mistake, and that they would be moving into building 10. On August 17, Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad, Shiv Sena’s South Mumbai MP Arvind Sawant and MHADA Mumbai Building Repairs and Redevelopment Board (MBRRB) chairman Vinod Ghosalkar handed over keys to the families

When some of the families moved into building 10, they were told to vacate the flats. The families had allotment letters, keys, but no place to stay. And they were getting increasingly desperate. They had cleaned the flat in building 10, bought drums to store water. People with children in the families shifted gas cylinder, suitcases full of clothes and everything to building No 10 already. They are relieved that they will not become homeless. The residents were worried because they could not request friends and relatives to allow them to stay for a longer period.

MBRRB chairperson Vinod Ghosalkar told Mumbai Mirror, “We will keep our word. We will not abandon the victims.”



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Mumbai: Unoccupied for 27 years, Tardeo tower to be razed – ET RealEstate

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MUMBAi: An 11-storey Tardeo building that has been “95% complete” for 27 years will be demolished ultimately. The structure has been at the centre of a court battle between the builder, who wanted to demolish it on the grounds that its condition had deteriorated, and flat buyers who were opposing it.

Seven months ago, the Bombay HC had referred the building, Pushpakunj, to a civic technical advisory committee to take a call on the structural stability after perusing two opposing reports last year.

The BMC panel has said the building needs to be “vacated and demolished immediately”. It found the structure had “deteriorated and was dilapidated” and said “it may collapse, endangering life and property”.

It falls in the C-1 category of dangerous buildings “beyond logical repair and unsafe for habitation”, the panel added.

Although 95% complete, the building was never occupied as the 5% unfinished work had left it without an occupancy certificate.



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