In a snub to the MP Housing and Infrastructure Development Board (MPHIDB), the Jabalpur bench of the high court on Tuesday stayed the execution of the board's order of March 8 by which it had threatened the petitioners with cancellation of allotment of their houses at the Riviera Town Scheme in Bhopal if they did not pay the enhanced cost of construction. The court also asked MPHIDB to explain as to how the cost of construction of houses in the residential scheme rose by about 300%.
Justice Rajendra Menon granted the stay while hearing two petitions filed by 36 persons including BS Parihar and Dr Sudha Jain to challenge the board's March 8 order.
The board had threatened to cancel the allotment of their houses in the posh colony if they did not pay the enhanced amount of the construction by March 31.
The board, through its order of March 8, had rejected the representations of petitioners who objected exorbitant enhancement in the construction cost of the houses to Rs. 30,000 per square metre in 2011 against the advertised cost of Rs. 9,000 per square metre.
In 2007, the petitioners had booked duplex/triplex/corner duplex residential houses in Riviera Town scheme floated only for state government employees and its undertakings under the self-financing scheme for the advertised cost of Rs. 40/45/53 lakh respectively. Most of the petitioners have paid up the entire booking amount and registered the residential houses while some of them are paying the amount in installments as per the Board’s rules, the petitioners’ counsel Hemant Shrivastava said.
As per the court’s order passed on Tuesday, the stay granted by the court on the order of March 8 would continue till next date of hearing of the petitions.
HC further sought explanation from the Board as to why possession of houses already constructed in the Riviera Town Scheme is not given to the petitioners when they have paid the advertised cost, the counsel said.
“The petitioners are government servants with limited home-loan financial profile and have procured loans, repaying EMI’s in addition to the rent for present hired accommodation,” said Shrivastava.
“It is actually about bulk connections which will be charged from builders and colonisers in cases where the colonies have come up after June 5, 2011. And it will only be charged in cases where the pipeline has been laid under JNNURM and Asian Development Project,” she said.
On Monday, it was proposed that new tap connections would be charged Rs. 3000 to Rs,. 10,000 depending on the area and location of the building.
In case of commercial and industrial tap connections, R20,000 would be charged.
On Monday, the mayor had presented a deficit BMC budget for 2013-2014 with a proposed income of Rs. 1841.03 crore and proposed expenditure of Rs. 1901.22 crore.