Nearly ninety families of Ramchandra Hejeps Chawl at Arthur Road Jail Naka, who left their small houses for the redevelopment of their chawls in 2009 are still waiting for their new homes. The tenants had appointed Shreepati Group led by developer Rajendra Chaturvedi (Founder) to undertake the redevelopment project. However, now the builder wants to carry out cluster redevelopment under DCR 33(9) from the agreed DCR 33(7), but since the property is in close proximity of Arthur Road prison, buildings are not permitted to be raised beyond a restricted height.
Rohan Sawant, one of the residents told the Free Press Journal, "We vacated our property believing that we all would get better and bigger houses, but, even after a decade no work has been started on the ground. We only want the builder to undertake redevelopment as per the agreed DCR rule." He further alleged that the builder has stopped paying rents of all residents from the last five years.
Another resident named Rahul Parab said that not just 90 families of Ramchandra Hejeps chawl but Parshiwadi chawl comprising 60 families, and other 144 room residents of the adjacent property are also affected. All these residents want MLA Aditya Thackeray to intervene and help them in resolving the issue.
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar, has also written a letter to CM Uddhav Thackeray that the tenants are facing extreme hardship and about Rs 3.48 crore rent dues are yet to cleared by the builder.
Developer Rajendra Chaturvedi said, "The said redevelopment file is pending before the civic estate department. Now as per the new plan, the adjacent Solid Waste Management (SWM) land will be merged in the redevelopment project. In exchange, free houses will be allotted to the BMC. A meeting with the Urban Development Department was held in August 2020. I am expecting the project to begin soon."
Like Ramchandra Hejeps chawl, Shreepati Group which is also the developer of Chikhalwadi Chawl at Tardeo and PMGP Colony comprising 17 buildings at Andheri East has the same story. In all these projects, the developer has stopped paying them rents and no redevelopment work has started. Suraj Sawant, resident of Chikhalwadi Chawl said, "We are facing extreme hardships as rents have been stopped by the builder." Reportedly, this project is affected as the new DCR mandates 18 metres road for cluster redevelopment.
Sharad Rane, Tulsidas Mayekar, Ganpat Kharat residents of PMGP colony said, "Our buildings have become old and there is always a fear of parts of the structure would fall. The builder used to undertake repairs but now that too has been stopped since the past few years. Several warnings have been issued to the developer but till date redevelopment work has not been initiated."