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Mumbai: 14-year fight for dream home bears fruit for Chinchpokli residents

Updated on: 17 April,2023 07:30 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Nidhi Lodaya |

Residents of Bawla compound finally get approval for the redevelopment of their dilapidated houses where conditions are unsanitary

Mumbai: 14-year fight for dream home bears fruit for Chinchpokli residents

Residents refrained from carrying out renovations as they were told the buildings will go under redevelopment. Pic/Ashish Raje

The 14-year-long fight for redevelopment is finally over for residents of a building at Bawla compound in Chinchpokli. The fight dates back to 2009, when the residents submitted a proposal to MHADA with the majority of tenants giving their consent for joint redevelopment with a private developer. The next year, MHADA granted an NOC for the project, but it was soon withdrawn. 

Sandeep Parab, a resident and treasurer who has been living in the chawl for 50 years, said the issue started prior to 2009. “Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) acquired this land for redevelopment in 1977 when 280 families were living here. After about 28 years (in 2005), MHADA demolished two buildings and the tenants affected were shifted to transit camps in Vikhroli and at Pratiksha Nagar in Sion,” he told mid-day.

An artist’s impression of the proposed building An artist’s impression of the proposed building 

Parab stated that MHADA resettled only 93 families by constructing a new building, while around 187 families awaited rehabilitation and redeveloped houses. “In 2009, they rebelled and began their fight to get a new, better and safe home. MHADA then issued an NOC, but soon withdrew it without giving any reason,” he said.

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“We were very frustrated and suffered a lot,” Parab said, adding that the matter reached the Bombay High Court in 2015. According to Parab and news reports from that time, the HC paved the way for the redevelopment of the building at Bawla compound saying that there was no guarantee MHADA would finish constructing the new homes on time. “A division bench of justices VM Kanade and Revati Mohite-Dere struck down MHADA’s decision to cancel the letter of intent it gave for the redevelopment of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan Co-operative Housing Society at Bawla compound,” a news report stated.

An overflowing septic tank of the building at Bawla compoundAn overflowing septic tank of the building at Bawla compound

Following this, MHADA took the matter to the Supreme Court, but its decision also favoured the tenants, said Parab. “Finally in 2020, the developer and MHADA came to a mutual decision and they were given the approval for redevelopment. On January 2, the BMC and MHADA gave the permission and approved all plans,” he added.

According to Parab, the residents are overjoyed to finally be closer to getting a new home, but the past 14 years were a struggle. “We have common toilets outside and it is inconvenient for women and old people to use them due to poor sanitary conditions. We also face drainage and water problems as this building is over 100 years old. There is also a rat problem,” he said, adding that the tenants had been hearing since 2003 that the building will undergo redevelopment, hence no renovations were carried out at his home during all these years.

While the houses in the building currently measure 160 sq ft, the tenants have been promised a 550 sq ft 2 BHK apartment after the redevelopment. 

“We are committed to fulfilling the dreams of a new home for residents as soon as possible. They will get spacious 2 BHK homes with all modern amenities like podium parking, a gymnasium, a terrace garden, sewerage treatment plant, solar power, etc.,” developer Pritesh Jain of Darshan Properties said.

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