With the redevelopment works of some of the city’s oldest buildings stalled for years, the state housing authority, which is responsible for the upkeep of these structures, has decided to step up its role and go beyond merely issuing ‘No Objection Certificates’ (NOCs) to developers.
The Mumbai repair board of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) has decided to monitor the redevelopment process at every stage by keeping a monthly tab on all projects that have been granted an NOC.
Ramesh Survade, chief officer of MHADA’s repair board, said, “After issuing an NOC, we will keep a check on whether the developer has applied for the Intimation of Disapproval (IOD).”
The IOD indicates that the members of the society under redevelopment have approved the plan and the layout of the new building, and are on board for the project.
“After the developer receives the IOD, we will monitor when the plot is vacated, tenants are moved and whether developers have received a commencement certificate. We have assigned one person to every ward to conduct site visits of buildings that have been granted an NOC for redevelopment and submit a monthly report,” Survade said.
Cessed buildings were constructed before 1969, with some of them over a hundred years old and mostly tenanted properties with rents frozen under the Rent Control Act. There are about 14,000 cessed buildings in the island city and the redevelopment has so far been sluggish. MHADA’s repair board has so far granted 1,650 NOCs to developers to revamp cessed buildings. However, most NOCs have become dormant with a large number of redevelopment work stalled due to myriad reasons such as differences between tenants and developers, lack of clearances and delays leading to disinterest in the project. In 2012, MHADA scrutinised all NOCs granted before 2004 and served notices in 85 cases where the developer had not started any work.
Subsequently, after conducting hearings for a few cases, the authority decided to revoke NOCs for 18 such projects.
However, earlier this year, it abruptly put brakes on reviewing stalled redevelopment contracts after the issue was taken up for discussion in the state Assembly last year and the cancellation of one of the NOCs was stayed after discussions, a senior official said.