MHADA says ‘cess’-free buildings, but restricts redevelopment

Mumbai: Several cessed buildings, which have been conveyed to societies by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), has no powers of redevelopment, self-redevelopment or sell the properties, unlike the cessed buildings. Resultantly, the residents of these buildings have been waging a battle to get the policy amended for the last 32 years, seeking redevelopment rights under the Development Control Regulation (DCR) 33(7).

Also, demanding the deletion of clauses of 8C from one to five-under chapter VIII-A of the MHADA Act, thereby giving owners of society the rights of transfer of ownership, sell, lease and redevelopment of the buildings.

The Federation of Old Buildings Co-operative Housing Societies and Tenants Association chairman, Anil Goenkar, said when they didn’t get a relief from the government or MHADA, they approached the Supreme Court, seeking directions to the government and MHADA to make three amendments in the said Act.

“The matter was heard by a 9-judge bench. The apex court, however, has asked us to file an application in the Bombay High Court, which is pending. Meanwhile, we request the govt to bring in three amendments. It will save the lives of tenants like us, who have been forced to live in dilapidated buildings today,” Goenkar said.

As many as 58 buildings have been constructed prior to September 1940, are 70-80 years old. He added in a recent meet in MHADA, Housing Minister Vikhe Patil gave them a positive response to their long-pending demand.

The minister directed the officials of the state housing authority to frame the policy with necessary amendments by August 31.

Goenkar said, “If the new policy is introduced, it will pave the way for redevelopment of such buildings located mostly in Dadar, Matunga, Mahim — in South Mumbai. Some of the popular housing societies include Matunga Hindukush and Aram building of Dadar. We are expecting positive announcement from the government. However, if the government continues to be reluctant, then like the Dongri building collapse, these buildings may face the similar fate and putting at risk precious lives of the buildings’ occupants.”

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