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HindustanTimes Wed,30 Jul 2014

Soon, more rights for residents of old buildings

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 18, 2013
First Published: 01:35 IST(18/1/2013) | Last Updated: 01:39 IST(18/1/2013)

Even as concerns are being raised over the impact of the proposed reforms in the co-operative sector on housing societies, the amendment is likely to give a boost to the redevelopment of dilapidated cessed buildings in the city, as it will make the formation of co-operative societies a fundamental right.

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This means tenants of these cessed buildings have the right to organise themselves in the form of a society — meaning more rights and greater representation. This will benefit lakhs of people living in old buildings in the city, who can now play an active role in the revamp process.

The 97th Amendment to the constitution is aimed at bringing autonomy and transparency to the co-operative sector. On February 15, this amendment will become binding on the state.

“The amendment will have a positive impact on the redevelopment scheme,” said Ramesh Prabhu, chairman, Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MSWA). “There will be committee in place which would examine the proposals as well as negotiate with builders.”

Unlike in cooperative societies, most of the decisions with regard to cessed buildings are taken by landlords. At present, tenants have to rely on an informal committee to represent their interests. “Here, the managing committee will be elected through elections conducted by a state government representative,” said advocate Vinod Sampat.

For years, redevelopment of several old buildings has been stuck. The projects require consent of all the landlords as well as 70% of tenants, which is often a tedious process. Also, the houses have been built on small plots, which make them unattractive for builders.

However the landlords are not amused. “It is already a herculean task to gain consent from tenants for revamp projects. If such a society is formed, it would create more complications,” said BR Bhattad, executive president, Property Owners Association.


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