Buildings on the Brink: Seven years on, tenants still wait for redevelopment of Santacruz building; landlord says procedure is in its final stage

Priyanka NavalkarUpdated: Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 08:12 AM IST
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Seven years on, the redevelopment of a ground-plus-three storied structure in Santacruz (E) is still in process. The 67-year-old Krishnakunj Apartment at Golibar which houses 32 flats, including shops, was declared dilapidated and was listed in the C1 list by the BMC in 2014. Since then, residents moved out of their apartments and were in talks with a few developers to redevelop the building, but in vain. However, the landlord claims that the redevelopment procedure is in its final stage and should be done within a fortnight.

The landlord, Ramesh Singh, was first issued a notice in 2014. After that, he has been issued many more notices. The building has broken staircases and the floors have been washed out. Also, cracks have developed on the pillars.

What tenants say:

One of the tenants, who converted his house into a workshop, said that the building has been receiving several notices. However, due to the congested area, the building is not getting a well-established developer. “We pay the rent and the landlord is cooperative. But there seems to be a delay in redevelopment as nothing seems to be going forward.”

Another tenant, who owns a shop in the structure, said that the structural audit carried out by the landlord states that the structure is beyond repairs and needs to be demolished at the earliest. “We have been going following up with the landlord who only tells us to wait for a couple of months. But this has been happening for too long. He keeps telling us that the final process is on. He also told us that there is a delay due to the monsoon,” said the tenant.

What landlord says:

Singh claims that he has been very understanding with the tenants and has always looked out for their interests. Some of them even failed to pay the meagre rent amount of Rs 600 per month. Still, I am cooperative. “We are giving our full support to the tenants. While some continue to live here, others have either kept their belongings or shifted. I am trying my best to manage the tenant’s space and a commercial space to ensure everyone gets a fair share. Upon approaching a few developers, the deal was put off. But this time, the deal is almost through and we will be entering the final draw of documents.

What officials says:

Local corporator and former mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar said Krishnakunj Apartment is not that old. But if the redevelopment is being done, and all the tenants are getting a fair share there is no harm in going for it.

“If the landlord claims the building is being considered for redevelopment there is no harm in waiting and finishing the project,” he added. When FPJ tried to contact H-east ward’s assistant municipal commissioner Alka Sasane, she was unavailable for a comment.

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