More than 12 families, including women and children, from two buildings in Dongri have been forced to live on the footpath since Monday afternoon.
They claim their landlord, Ashraf Mohammed Quereshi (41), evicted them from Narmadabhai Pandurang Koli chawl and Raj Mansion because he wants to build a tower there.
Refuting the allegations, Quereshi said the residents have been provided alternative accommodation at a nearby transit camp and “all their other demands too have been met”.
“I did not evict them, the state housing authority issued them eviction notices. The allegations against me are baseless and are meant to extort money out of me,” Quereshi claimed.
Nitesh Jain (26), a tenant at Narmadabhai Pandurang Koli chawl for the last 10 years, said four years ago, Quereshi promised to give them “good returns in exchange for their nod to redevelop the property”.
“But he went back on his word. Quereshi claims he has consent from a majority of the tenants to redevelop the property, but we think that he got those consents through fraudulent means,” said Jain.
“In order to make his point, Quereshi has stopped collecting rent from us since the last six months. He now wants us to shift to a transit camp,” said another tenant, who refused to give his name.
“Also, the clauses the landlord has put in the contract agreement are biased, and do not favour the tenants.”
But Quereshi claims he has only four tenants in the two buildings, while the remaining 38 rooms were given on rent.
“I’m meeting most of their demands, though most of them are not even my tenants,” he said.
“Don’t I have the freedom to redevelop my own land?”
Subhash Hazare, chief officer (Repair and Reconstruction Board), MHADA, did not respond to the calls made by Hindustan Times.