Nearly 150 houses allotted to tenants in redeveloped building were found to be unoccupied since the last five years or more, said Vinod Ghosalkar, Chairman of the Mumbai Building Repairs & Redevelopment Board (MBRRB). The tenants are the residents of old cess building which have been redeveloped. MBRRB, an undertaking of MHADA has issued a notice in leading newspapers and on their portal giving an ultimatum to such tenants to take possession of these flats or the board will take over the ownership.
Ghosalkar explained, "Several tenants are risking their lives by staying in dangerous buildings while on other end the houses allotted to such tenants have not been accepted by them. It is a scam as the files of such unoccupied houses are given to private agents and the repair board officials are in nexus with them to sell these houses at a whopping cost later on. All this should be stopped. I have obtained approvals from the MHADA Vice President to convert these houses into transit accommodation. While in other cases, they may also be a family dispute or tenants wish to get more area. But a conclusion has to be found out as these houses cannot be kept vacant forever."
In Mumbai there are over 16,000 cess buildings which are in dangerous condition. Ghosalkar informed that many buildings are not undertaking repair works as they have exhausted their cess funds. While in other cases the landlord and tenants, due to lack of funds are not doing the building repairs. In such cases, the buildings are declared most dangerous asking tenants to shift in the transit accommodation. However, the MBRRB have vacant transit houses only in Borivali. Due to which residents living in South Mumbai do not agree to shift in suburbs. If the unoccupied redeveloped houses converted into transit the issue can be resolved.