Mumbai: 2.5 years on, cess buildings redevelopment policy awaits President’s nod

The said policy has been revised to expedite the project for the redevelopment of incomplete, stuck and abandoned cess buildings.

Sweety AdimulamUpdated: Tuesday, May 31, 2022, 08:54 AM IST
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Representative Image | File

The Mumbai Building Repairs and Reconstruction Board (MBRRB) chairman and former legislator of Shiv Sena Vinod Ghosalkar will soon write another letter to the President of India's office over the pending nod on amended redevelopment policy approved by Maharashtra government in September 2020.

The said policy has been revised to expedite the project for the redevelopment of incomplete, stuck and abandoned cess buildings. However, due to the pending clearance from the President's office, the Maharashtra government was unable to undertake any redevelopment.

Ghosalkar said, "A petition was filed by a tenant following their building redevelopment was not being carried out by their landlord. MBRRB, an undertaking of MHADA, was also made a party and we replied that we are waiting for approvalfromthe President's office. Following this development, the President's office was also asked to reply. There were a few queries which have been replied to by theMHADA.We are waiting for final clearance on the amended policy."

According to MHADA, the policy will allow MHADA to acquire such disputed redevelopment projects of cess buildings. Since the main owner of this property is the landlord, the MHADA is the approving authority giving permissions for repair redevelopment among others. As per the old act, MBRRB can not acquire such buildings directly.

With the new amended act, it can take over such projects, acquire the properties with just 51 per cent consent of occupants as against the previous 71 per cent requirement. In addition, it has a provision to pay rent to the tenants until the project is completed.

However,the said revised act benefit will be applicable only to the cess buildings (pagadi buildings) that are located in south Mumbai and MHADA is custodian of these properties. In Mumbai, there are nearly 16,000 cess buildings whichare over 60-years-old, a few are even old by over a century, as per MHADA.

Ghosalkar added thatin the new act of cess building redevelopment, if a particular building projectis taken over by MHADA thenthe landlord will be compensated by 25 per cent on ready reckoner rate for the land acquisition done or if he wants a share then, 15% of the saleable component he will be part of.

The state law department along with MHADA officials are working on queries raised by the President's office. Meanwhile, if the said amendedpolicyreceives final nod from Centre, then the redevelopment of controversial cess building will expedite. Every year before monsoon, the MHADA Mumbai repair board conducts a survey of thousands of cess buildings and identifies extremely dangerous ones which need to be vacated immediately.

If anybuilding ismarkedas extremely dangerous (C1, unfitfor human habitation),the tenants will get an alternate accommodationfacility. However, for the private cess buildings,the occupantshave to manage the accommodation on their own if declared dangerous.

This has put an impression of step motherly treatment to these non-cess tenants who have been demanding an inclusion in this revised redevelopment policy and rent and transit accommodation provision from their approving authority.

A letter regarding the same has been written by the noncess building association to the statehousing minister Jitendra Awahd bringing his attention to this issue. The Free Press Journal had reported about it extensively

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