Mumbai: City's cess bldg redevelopment policy at Prez’s office for final nod

The Maharashtra government new policy to speed up the redevelopment of cessed buildings within Mumbai through Mumbai Building Repairs and Redevelopment Board (MBRRB) is at the President of India Ramnath Kovid's office for final approval. Arun Dongre, chief , MBRRB confirmed and said that in this new policy, the state permits the board to acquire the property if the developer and tenants fails to carry out the redevelopment work in the given grace period.

He explained, "Under the Central Government Land Acquisition Act, double compensation provision is available to the owner of land. Also, the existing land acquisition process is lengthy. But since the repair board is giving grace period and taking up the project only after they fail to do so therefore giving double the compensation as per the market value is not feasible. The Board is doing the job of the landlord, the tenant and the developer, therefore to prevent any injustice to them the state has made a compensatory provision of giving 25 per cent of the market value. Meaning if the cost of land is Rs one then the owner will get Rs 25 paise. Second option is availing 15 per cent of the property ownership excluding rehab components."

MBRRB is an undertaking of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) which looks after the repair work of cess buildings. The cessed buildings are those for which the government collects tax for a repair fund. These buildings were mainly built before Independence and located in the island city only. There are about 14,500 such less buildings which are in dire need of redevelopment. Of which hundreds of buildings obtained No objection certificate (NoC) to carry out redevelopment but have been delayed/ incomplete for various reasons. Dongre said, "Around 400 plus such cases have been found in which the developer obtained NOC but failed to carry out the project successfully."

Besides, once the ordinance is passed if the landlord moves court and challenges the acquisition decision, with the new ordinance in place the case will become stronger for the MBRRB, he added.

Commenting on this subject, Vinod Ghosalkar Chairman of MBRRB and Shiv Sena leader said, "I will write a letter to the President's office about the pending ordinance approval. With the clearance of ordinance, redevelopment of old cessed buildings in Mumbai will expedite generating house stock. Also, the board can take action and undertake the project on its own if required."

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