The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will scrutinise the property documents of a controversial plot at Lower Parel that was reserved for the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), but is now being handed over to a private developer for redevelopment of slums.
The previous tenants of the plot have staked claim for redevelopment of the plot, which is worth more than Rs 100 crore.
Hindustan Times had earlier reported how the Shiv Sena-BJP dominated BEST committee gave its nod for redevelopment of slums on the plot without any debate.
Sayed Arshad Zaidi, 35, grandson of Mehmood Fatima, who was leased the plot by the civic body back in 1952, claimed that he should be given the first right to redevelop the plot under the Land Acquisition Act, if the BMC doesn’t need it for public utility purpose.
Their demand has prompted BMC’s deputy commissioner Kishore Kshirsagar to conduct a detailed examination of the claimant’s property documents.
“The BMC has acquired the plot by paying due compensation and still if someone is making the claim, we need to examine his or her documents,” he said.
When contacted, BEST general manager Jagdish Patil said he too was scrutinising the papers. “So far, we found that the NOC has not been issued by the BEST. We are verifying the documents and examining their validity. Only after they are confirmed, further action will be initiated.”
According to Zaidi, the BMC acquired the 898.76sqm plot located near Mahalaxmi Race Course from Fatima as it was reserved for a bus station under the 1991 development plan.
However, the BEST later said it had sufficient space adjoining the plot and did not have any problem if the BMC allowed a private developer to redevelop it.
“We have been fighting the civic body in court since 1991. If the plot isn’t being used for public purpose anymore, it should be given back to us for redevelopment under the Land Acquisition Act, and no third party should be involved,” said Sayed Kamal Zaidi, 70, Fatima’s son.
According to experts, the BMC and BEST will barely make a profit of Rs 22 crore from the redevelopment, whereas the plot’s projected market value is Rs 100 crore.
In a letter to HT, the BEST said the value of the entire project, according to the 2015 ready reckoner rate, worked out to be Rs 74.07 crore.