The redevelopment clash between two groups of residents of Giriraj Apartments on Altamount Road has developed into a heated dispute, with one group approaching the ‘Stop Scam Redevelopment’ forum to oppose the proposed self-development.
Formed by jewellery designer Poonam Soni, the forum has roped in RTI activist Krishnaraj Rao, housing activist Chandrashekhar Prabhu, consumer activist Mohammad Afzal, and former IPS officer YP Singh, among others.
Of the 60-odd inhabitants of the 10-storey building, more than 20 are opposed to the building’s redevelopment, proposed by members of the society’s managing committee. This group claims that the committee members are pushing for self-development, which means that the residents will have to incur the costs, from paying the rent for rehabilitation during the period of redevelopment, to the design, construction and interiors of the new building.
The developer generally bears this cost and derives profit from sale of extra space available. The protesting residents want the building to be repaired and renovated instead.
“The building might be old, but it’s not falling to pieces. So why should they go for redevelopment?” said Soni. However, Ketan Shah, a committee member, said, “The building is in very bad shape. As there is no extra FSI (buildable area) available, no builder will come forward to redevelop it.”
Repairing it was not an option, he said, because “People want their building to be sparkling new and they want it to be protected from earthquakes. Only complete redevelopment can make this possible.”
“Under Section 33 (6) of the development control rules, if the building is certified dilapidated by an architect, it can be redeveloped without the members’ consent. There needs to be a credible procedure to declare a building dilapidated, otherwise it can be misused,” said YP Singh, a member of the forum.
The forum had organised a talk for the residents on April 29, where Rao and lawyer LB Tiwari answered queries regarding redevelopment issues.