Cracking down on developers sitting on redevelopment projects of some of the oldest and most dilapidated buildings of the city,the state housing board has,in the past two months,cancelled the No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) that it had granted for 18 such projects.
According to officials from the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA),these NOCs were granted for the redevelopment of cessed building mostly between 2002 and 2004,but the NoC holders had not started any work.
Cessed buildings are structures in the island city from Colaba to Sion and Mahim built before 1970 that pay a cess to MHADA for maintenance. Currently,there are about 14,000 such buildings in the city,with many of them built before 1940.
We found that the developers had not started any work,and in many cases,after getting NOCs they had not even visited the tenants of the buildings. Then,there were some cases where the redevelopment had not taken off due to differences between the NOC holder and the occupants of the buildings, said a senior official from MHADAs repair and reconstruction board.
The buildings for which the NOCs were cancelled are mostly located in areas such as Fort,Bhuleshwar,Malabar Hill,Cumbala Hill,Lalbaug,Parel,Mahim and Dadar. They include structures such as Daginawala mansion in Mahim,Tawadia mansion in the Fort division,Amrut Niwas at Dadar and Meghwadi at Lalbaug.
In the first week of July, MHADAs repair board also cancelled an NOC it had granted to 70-year-old K K Modiwadi chawl in Sewri,housing 136 tenants. In this case,the developer MB Construction had not started work despite being granted an NOC in 1998.
Between October and December last year,MHADAs repair and reconstruction board despatched notices to 85 developers threatening to cancel their NOCs as they had not laid even a brick despite getting the certificate nearly a decade ago. The housing board had been holding hearings with developers ever since.
We decided to cancel the 18 NOCs because in most of the cases,the certificate holder did not even respond to our showcause notice. We gave them multiple chances to turn up for hearings,but they did not, the MHADA official said.
In the case of a small building in Parel housing six tenements,the original NOC holder died,while his legal heirs were not traceable.
Scrutinising NOCs and revoking them if work has not started for several years,is now going to be an ongoing exercise. If any of the buildings for which NOCs were cancelled want to go in for redevelopment,they can come to MHADA with a fresh proposal, the official said.