The Bombay high court on Tuesday rapped the civic body for delaying redevelopment project at Dadar by a decade, which in turn had delayed rehabilitation of 788 tenants.
A division bench of justice Ranjana Desai and justice Rajesh Ketkar was hearing a petition filed by residents of the Bhoiwada Gaon Swapnapurti Cooperative Housing Society against Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) inaction.
Justice Desai said: “Your intentions may be good, but why are you not taking any action? The project has been held up for a long time. How long can this go on?”
The petitioners claimed that the BMC had failed to evict the 19 tenants, who were obstructing the redevelopment of Bandukwala chawl and Thakur villa chawls. The BMC had proposed redevelopment of the chawls spread over 20,922.32sqm in Bhoiwada gaon in the late 1980s.
The petition claimed the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) was appointed to undertake the project, but Mhada abandoned it due to BMC's non-cooperation.
Counsels for the petitioner, VA Thorat and Sanjeev Sawant, argued the BMC should have vacated the premises; they have failed to take steps to evict tenants, who are holding up the project. The project will help in decongesting the area, said Thorat.
In the last few years, five dilapidated buildings in the area have collapsed. There are 729 residential tenants in the many chawls that are dilapidated, around 50 commercial tenants and 15-20 industrial units.
Mhada had shifted 139 tenants to transit camps in Mulund, Sewri, Kandivli and Kala Chowkie in 1992-93; 160 tenants were shifted to transit accommodation by the builders. The lawyers said the developer had been unable to demolish the remaining buildings.