Goregaon’s Patra Chawl tenants have warned of conducting a protest on September 4 at the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority(MHADA) office at Bandra for their inefficiency to complete their housing redevelopment project over the past decade. Makrand Parab, 47, told the Free Press Journal that around 672 families today are forced to live in a rented house and many are staying in the outskirts of Mumbai. "Patra Chawl tenants are mainly from a working class society. Today, rent in Mumbai, especially in Goregaon, is not less than Rs 30,000 in a building. How can we afford such high rent when many do not even earn that much salary? Therefore, we want MHADA to act and start the redevelopment work immediately."
He asserted that the outbreak of coronavirus already caused financial hardships. Many have lost their jobs. Small businesses have also been affected. Thus, paying rent from one's own pocket has become a task.
Another tenant Raju Dalvi stated the redevelopment was agreed on a tri-party basis with MHADA, tenants society and the builder. However, due to legal dispute, the project has been delayed and the consequences have to be faced by the tenants. "In the agreement, it is clearly mentioned that if the builder fails to carry out the project, MHADA will complete the work. However, MHADA seems to be working hand in gloves with the builder. The builder had stopped paying us rents from 2016 and MHADA is doing nothing."
A senior MHADA official, who does not wish to be named, stated that they are waiting for orders to be passed by National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Mumbai. He said, "On behalf of Guruashish Developer, Ravi Developer had shown interest to take up the redevelopment work. However, now, he has backed out and expressed that he is not in a position to take over the incomplete project. Same was told to the court."