Tenants residing in the A-wing of Rama Bhuvan building are in a state of limbo over redevelopment plans. They had agreed to go for redevelopment after the BMC had declared the structure dilapidated and listed it as C1, which is highly dangerous.
However, the BMC changed the status of the building’s B-wing from C1 to C2, which means repairable. Following this, the A-wing residents now feel that the landlord and developer will not be able to go ahead with the redevelopment. This has also forced them to continue to live in the shaky structure.
While the A-wing houses 24 flats and three shops, the B-wing has four shops and 27 flats. Currently, the A-wing tenants have managed to get a stay order from the city civil court.
What residents say:
Chandrakant Dhani, a resident of A-wing, said how two wings on the same plot can be tagged differently. “If the A-wing falls under C1, then how can the other wing manage to get the C2 tag. Due to this blunder by the BMC, tenants from B-wing may not opt for redevelopment immediately. On the other hand A-wing residents have been asked to vacate their homes. If we vacate, we have to wait till the other wing is declared C1 and we can go in for redevelopment. This will only delay the process.”
Meanwhile, after the death of original landlord, the title of the land has not revised. “We follow the pagadi system, so we pay the rent to Maruti Shilp company, who is the new landlord. But their name is not on paper. If the land belongs to the old owner who is no more, then does it belong to now? Who will carry out redevelopment? This needs to be cleared. How can the BMC initiate eviction and demolition notice,” Dhani said.
Balwant Mehta, who also owns a shop in the building, said the BMC must carry out repairs of the building.
What the landlord says:
Gopal Iyer from Maruti Shilp company said, “The matter is in court. But we (developer) are keen to carry out the redevelopment project. However, there have been issues like illegal encroachments by some tenants, non-payment of rent, high expectations in regards to carpet area. All these factors have delayed redevelopment work,” Iyer said.
Also, residents have given a written assurance that they will continue to live in this dangerous structure at their own risk. Following, which the court has granted them a stay order.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)