After making slum-dwellers of Borivli's Rajendra Nagar wait for 23 years to get a house in a redevelopment project in the area, the Slum Redevelopment Authority (SRA), has now given the project back to a developer who has been booked for cheating a buyer.
According to the Mid-Day, the conditional approval was given in March and despite protests from the slum-dwellers in the months since, SRA has not acted against the developer. The Rajendra Kunj slum redevelopment project was initiated in 1995, but since then the construction of the homes has remained incomplete.
In 2017, SRA authorities visited the plot and inspected the project after complaints were filed by the society members against developer Rajendra Barde, who is the managing director of the Truly Creative Developer Private Limited. During the visit, the SRA authorities learned that some of the flats which were meant for slum dwellers were allegedly being sold in the open market as a sale component.
"SRA officials prepared a report and filed an FIR with the Kasturba Marg police station. SRA even issued a show-cause notice to the developer, asking why the firm should not be blacklisted and provision of Section 13 (2) of the Slum Act (which deals with changing a developer) should not be initiated against him," a managing committee member told the Mid-Day. In 2018, a buyer who had booked a flat in the same project had filed a police complaint, acting on which cops filed an FIR.
Despite of which, on March 5, 2019, SRA gave go-ahead to the same developer to complete the project. Another committee member told the leading daily, "People have been waiting for over 23 years to get a house. The existing developer has failed to keep his promises and deliver on time. But instead of refraining from appointing the errant builder, SRA asked the same old developer to complete the project; we are sceptical of him. The dreams of hundreds of slum dwellers have been shattered due to SRA's latest order."
In the meanwhile, Rajendra Barde refuted the allegations and termed them as baseless, "Rival developers want to grab the project and are leaving no stone unturned to malign our image. In fact, the rival group has also taken political and criminal support to throw me out of this project. But so far, they have not succeeded in their goals. I am sure they will not succeed in the future as well."