The state-appointed monitoring committee, which supervises the sale and development of mill land, is unhappy with the National Textile Corporation (NTC) for not withdrawing eviction notices to 18 commercial tenants of various NTC mills and six workers living in Sitaram Mills.
The committee had directed the municipal corporation to serve stop-work notices to 12 textile mills, including nine belonging to NTC.
K. Ramchandra Pillai, chairman and managing director of NTC, told Hindustan Times that this has been an issue for some time. “The state government wants us to give accommodation to all the occupants. However, NTC took a decision to serve eviction notices to those we thought did not deserve accommodation.”
Among the mills ordered to stop work are two mills of the Bombay Dyeing and Manufacturing Company Limited. In this case, the monitoring committee was critical of the fact that despite its directions, the company has not handed over the area demarcated for mill workers’ housing to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority.
Bombay Dyeing has also failed to hand over land to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for a recreation ground. Bombay Dyeing officials could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
The monitoring committee said without progress on houses for workers or redevelopment of the chawls, the ongoing construction appears to be “incongruous”.
Among the NTC mills to be affected by this notice is the Mumbai Textile Mills being redeveloped by the DLF group. The developer said construction had stopped because the group has decided to switch from a commercial project to a residential one. “We are working out the plans and there is no work going on,” said Rajeev Talwar, executive director, DLF.
Niranjan Lapasia, lawyer of the Girni Chawl Bhadekaru Sangharsh Samitee, said, “The state gave additional floor space index to ensure redevelopment is smooth. But NTC wants to reap benefits and deprive tenants of their rights,” Lapasia said.
The Samitee is an organisation of mill land tenants. “The state should be stringent while granting permissions and concessions to such projects,” said Nimesh Mehta, vice-president of the Samitee.