Tuesday, September, 26,2023

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‘Stuck’ home buyers stage protest at MHADA

Mumbai: More than 1,700 home buyers, who purchased apartments in three projects developed by private builders on a land parcel meant for the Patra Chawl redevelopment project in Goregaon, staged a strong protest at the office of Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority (MHADA) in Bandra on Tuesday. They demanded Occupancy Certificate(s) (OCs) for these projects that have been pending. These home buyers purchased their apartments in Ekta Tripolis, Kalpataru Radiance, and The Luxor built by private developers on land belonging to MHADA from 2012 onwards. They are still waiting for possession of their homes, 10 years later. These high-rise buildings are ready for possession, but as MHADA has refused to issue OCs to concerned developers, home buyers are stuck. The government body has declined to issue certificates till 672 original residents of Patra Chawl in Siddarth Nagar get their homes. Guru Ashish Constructions, a subsidiary of HDIL, had signed a tripartite agreement with MHADA and Patra Chawl society residents to redevelop the chawls spread on 47 acres of land. The company, controlled by Sarang Wadhwan, sold parts of this MHADA land to nine private developers, and never completed either the rehab tenements of Patra Chawl dwellers or its saleable component, Meadows Towers. Wadhwan was arrested in connection with the PMC Bank scam, and remains in judicial custody, while Guru Ashish Constructions has been liquidated.

According to available data, these 1,700 home buyers paid more than Rs3,000 crore collectively to the builders, Rs500 crore towards Goods & Services Tax (GST) and Rs200 crore towards stamp duty to the state government. And yet, they have been deprived of possession of their flats, which they were promised in 2016. Their hopes were revived when the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government addressed the issue for the first time and issued a government resolution in July 2021. The government asked MHADA to complete construction of rehab tenements, pay rent to chawl dwellers denied by HDIL and sign appropriate consent terms with private developers. “The GR, dated July 09, 2021, has instructed MHADA to ink consent terms with the developers. But, 14 months on, MHADA has failed to do so, resulting in huge hardships for the families of the buyers. With folded hands, we urge MHADA and the developers to quickly close the consent terms in the interest of these taxpaying, middle-income families,” said Captain Santosh Rele, one of the protesting home buyers.

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