Tenants of unsafe Parel chawl protest against BMC, developer

  • Poorvi Kulkarni, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Nov 14, 2014 22:14 IST

Families of 77 tenants of a dilapidated, century-old, civic-owned property, Bogda chawl, in Parel, began an indefinite protest on Thursday, demanding alternate accommodation from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

The tenants are opposing the BMC’s indecision over providing alternate accommodation and a prolonged redevelopment dispute between them and the developer.

In October 2012, the Bamandeo Cooperative Housing Society, formed by the Bogda chawl tenants with the BMC’s consent, had passed a resolution to terminate the agreement with the developer – Spee Realtors. The developer had been earlier appointed for the redevelopment of the chawl.

Since, the tenants have been demanding that the Letter of Intent (LOI) given to the developer by the BMC be revoked.

But after the building was declared dilapidated in June, the civic body instead directed the developers to provide alternate accommodation and issued notices to the tenants to vacate the structure. The assistant municipal commissioner’s (estates) earlier orders to cancel the letter was also changed.

“We vacated the building because it was declared dilapidated, but the matter of transit accommodation is pending in the high court. We will strike till the BMC gives us alternate accommodation, as the homes given to us by the developer are not acceptable to us,” said Chandrashekhar Dudwadkar, office bearer of the society.

The developer, on the other hand, claimed that the agreement with the society was terminated after a majority of the tenants had already consented to the project and all approvals had been obtained.

“The tenements we offered them have been inspected and approved by the BMC. We abided by all the rules, but if residents don’t accept the tenements, what can we do?” said Sarvadaman Sambari of Spee Realtors.

Residents have also opposed the fencing of the property that was started by the developer on Thursday.

But Sanjay Kurhade, assistant municipal commissioner, F south, under which Parel falls, said: “The building has to be barricaded for safety purposes. But, since the matter is sub-judice, we will not proceed with the demolition.”

The issue

* The tenants of Bogda chawl in Parel have alleged that the civic body has declared the building dilapidated at the behest of the developer who was appointed to redevelop the plot

* The Bamandeo Cooperative Housing Society, which was registered by the tenants with the BMC’s consent, had earlier entered into a redevelopment agreement with a developer

* The society, however, later revoked its consent and issued a termination notice to the developer on October 14, 2012

* In addition, the tenants have alleged that the transit homes allotted to them by the developer either do not exist or are already occupied.

* 216: Total number of tenants

* 77: No. of tenants who are protesting

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