Patra Chawl redevelopment: Politics shadowing our plight, say tenants

Sweety AdimulamUpdated: Monday, August 01, 2022, 10:49 PM IST
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Mumbai: After the arrest of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut in connection with alleged money-laundering in the Patra Chawl redevelopment project, several tenants of the project said that the issue is being politicised while they are being blatantly sidelined. More than a decade ago, 672 tenants moved out of the chawl, paving way for redevelopment. However, the project is yet to see the light of the day. The prolonged delay has unsettled the tenants, who became more anxious after Raut’s arrest.

Reacting to the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) action against the MP, Makrand Parab, one of the tenants, said why just a politician has been arrested. Where are the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) officials who are the real mastermind of this alleged scam? “Long back, we have given complaints to the ED with the names of officials who allowed the sublease of the Patra Chawl to other private developers. However, nowhere do we see action against these people.”

He further alleged that the tenants are not getting rent from MHADA as agreed. Secondly, the authority has appointed a private contractor to finish the construction work of the rehab building without taking tenants into confidence. “How will these houses be distributed once the building is ready? Why are they not signing the property registration agreement with the dateline of possession? Everything is unclear,” asserted Parab.

Whereas, those who bought homes built by private developers on land Patra chawl parcel also expressed similar anguish. Bemoaning that their pain is increasing with each passing day, homebuyer Rajeev Mohta said, “The buyers like me are facing financial burden as we have to pay rent as well as EMIs. So, if there is a scam then the government should bring it to the books, catch hold of people who are involved and at the same time bother for people like us, who have put their hard earned money. We have paid stamp duty, GST. However, we have been taken on a ride.”

Similarly, other homebuyers demanded that they just want their houses and don’t bother about who has been arrested. Meanwhile, project Meadows--the saleable component of the Patra Chawl project--has knocked on the doors of the Bombay HIgh Court.

Talking to The FPJ, Meadows welfare association spokesperson said that a final hearing will likely take place on August 29 of this year. Contending that despite being a co-promoter, MHADA has shirked its responsibility, the spokesperson said, “The developer (Guruashish) agreement has been terminated by MHADA so they are now responsible to do the job but they are not doing so.”

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