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After sealing property, Mumbai port trust residents form joint action committee

The MbPT, one of the largest landlords in the city, has now started issuing notices to various buildings, seeking a payment of the outstanding dues and illegalities in construction.

mumbai Updated: Apr 07, 2018 00:16 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times
mumbai,port trust,joint action committee
Residents have a growing fear that they will be displaced to make way for mega projects planned by the trust(Representational photo)

In the face of the Mumbai Port Trust’s (MbPT) act of sealing Gokulesh Premises Cooperative Society for non-payment of dues, various traders and resident associations in MbPT premises have formed a Joint Action Committee to tackle the issue.

The MbPT, one of the largest landlords in the city, has now started issuing notices to various buildings, seeking a payment of the outstanding dues and pointing out the illegalities in construction carried out over the years.

In the case of the Gokulesh society, the MbPT took over the possession after the residential society did not pay the outstanding dues of Rs1.02 crore and failed to respond to the notices issued by the trust. The action has been taken under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1981.

According to Advocate Viren Asar, the MbPT notices should be responded to properly. “The occupants should employ professionals to deal with the matter and not ignore such notices,” said Asar.

The MbPT, which owns land from Colaba to Wadala, is drawing up ambitious plans which include gardens, marinas, playgrounds and hotels. Residents have a growing fear that they will be displaced to make way for these mega projects.

According to Anish Valia, president of the Bombay Iron Merchants Association, there is fear of eviction across the area. “The MbPT is levying such an exorbitant amount as dues. We are not able to afford such a huge amount, as the principal amount is very less while the interest charged is very high. The MbPT should not evict us as this concerns our livelihood,” said Valia.

The MbPT has dismissed claims that it wants to arbitrarily evict the people from the premises.

“We are interested in our dues and they should pay up. These people have not been clearing them. If they don’t pay, we will have to evict them,” said Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, MbPT.

First Published: Apr 07, 2018 00:10 IST