Mumbai: State Govt Notifies HC Of Its Formulated Policy For Senior Citizens Amid Delay In Redevelopment Projects

Mumbai: State Govt Notifies HC Of Its Formulated Policy For Senior Citizens Amid Delay In Redevelopment Projects

State advocate Mohit Jadhav submitted a March 4 circular issued by the housing department setting out the policy measures to be taken in regard to the issues of delayed redevelopment of the buildings, concerning senior citizens.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Saturday, March 16, 2024, 12:07 PM IST
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The Maharashtra government has informed the Bombay High Court that it has formulated a policy State Government's Comprehensive Policy for Senior Citizens regarding delays in redevelopment of projects that affect senior citizens.

The court expressed satisfaction with the policy and said the policy needed to be implemented in letter and spirit and suggested that it include powers to cancel the developers appointment and to also impose hefty penalties. We are quite satisfied with the approach of the state government to consider the issues in regard to the need for shelter and/or a roof over their head, in the twilight years of their lives.

The said policy needs to be implemented in letter and spirit, a bench of Justices Girish Kulkarni and Firdosh Pooniwalla said on March 7. The HC was hearing a petition filed by Jayshree Dholi, 64, who vacated her building in 2019 when it was undertaken for redevelopment. Dholi is a member of Navin Manju CHSL in Mulund, along with 21 other residents and 19 shopowners. The project was stalled after a dispute with the developer and non-cooperation by certain members.

Housing Department Circular Outlines Measures For Senior Citizen-Related Redevelopment Delays

State advocate Mohit Jadhav submitted a March 4 circular issued by the housing department setting out the policy measures to be taken in regard to the issues of delayed redevelopment of the buildings, concerning senior citizens. Through such a circular, various statutory bodies are required to achieve strict compliance of the directives therein.

The judges said additional and more proactive steps may be taken by the state government and all the authorities under it, including municipal corporations, MHADA, MMRDA, SRA, and many more who are concerned with the redevelopment of buildings. The state government and all the planning authorities shall maintain a list of redevelopment projects involving the senior citizens and the progress of these projects should be monitored in the interests of senior citizens, the bench said.

Court Urges Special Cell Formation to Safeguard Senior Citizens in Redevelopment Disputes

Court suggested that a special cell be formed for the purpose. Further, the state should endeavour that any disputes between the society members and the developer on any redevelopment issues do not adversely affect the interest of the senior citizens and the redevelopment does not get delayed, the court said.

The bench insisted that these authorities take drastic action, such as levying heavy penalties and/ or devise such other appropriate mechanisms in the best interests of the senior citizens. Unless such proactive steps are taken, the plight of senior citizens which is brought before the Court by the petitioner, would continue unabated.

Court Emphasises Sensitivity & Accessibility for Senior Citizens In Redevelopment Issues

The concerned officers of the different authorities are required to be alive, sensitive and humane in their approach in dealing with such issues, and above it, conscious of the pain and agony of the senior citizens, who may be the victims of delayed redevelopment for no fault of theirs, the bench underlined.

The court has asked the state, to notify within four weeks, its postal address, an email id and a telephone number, to enable senior citizens to register their grievances/ complaints. As far as the development of the society where Dholi resides is concerned, the HC has asked the society, Dholi and other members to find an amicable resolution to their dispute so that the redevelopment is not further delayed.

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