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Vadodara twin building collapse: No sign of rehab for evacuees

A prime area for realtors,Atladara land considered for ‘redevelopment’

Written by Aditi Raja | Vadodara |
September 20, 2013 5:11:15 am

Even as the evacuees of 31 apartments of Madhavnagar Society in Atladara await rehabilitation by the state government,the land on which the towers were built by the Vadodara Urban Development Authority,is being considered for a possible redevelopment.

The colony,which has become an eyesore in the midst of the posh residences,is being considered for redevelopment under a public-private partnership after shifting the residents to other locations.

Atladara,which has become a real estate hotbed in the city,has recently seen a massive growth in sophisticated residential colonies. While,VUDA has been promising residents an alternate accommodation since the past two weeks,it has been unable to deliver on its promise. Sources now say that the authorities are considering to arrive at a compromise with the residents,in which they are most likely to be shifted to a housing project outside the city limits. Residents feel the authorities are delaying the rehabilitation only to tire out the protesters.

Santosh Jadhav,a resident,says,“The authorities are trying to tire us out. Our families are living under the scorching sun,because all the buildings have become totally unfit to occupy. Even after some families have moved into the dilapidated homes,the authorities have taken no action. They refuse to meet us without appointment.”

Residents say they are ready for a compromise. “Recently an evaluator told us that we would get Rs 40 lakh each as per the compromise,if the apartments go in for redevelopment,” said a resident. “Since the buildings are anyway uninhabitable,we feel that would not be a bad choice to make. At least we will get a home elsewhere,” he added.

Currently,properties in Atladara are priced at approximately Rs 3,000 to 4,000 per sq ft. According to the Town Development Office of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation,as many as 12 major residential projects for apartment buildings (excluding independent villas,tenement colonies,reconstructions or extensions to existing properties) have been sanctioned between January 2012 and June 2013,before the Town Planning Scheme was implemented to organize the development of the area in June this year. The panel prepared 26 proposed schemes for expansion of Vadodara. Until the TPS clearance,no new projects will be given permission.

“The area is in need of a well-planned development,including infrastructure. New projects won’t get permission until then,but re-development of existing structures,which have been previously built,is a separate issue,” an official said.

Meanwhile,VUDA officials are yet to decide on how to rehabilitate the evacuees as well as on the future of the run-down property. VUDA Chairman N V Patel,who has been at the receiving end of the protests by residents,activists and the Opposition,refuses to take the blame. “If the property has been sold to the residents back in 2001,how can VUDA be responsible for maintenance? As for the future of the property is concerned,the decision will be taken by the state government,” he said.

Incidentally,the agreement between the flat owners and VUDA does not clarify the title of ownership of the property. Sources say VUDA owns the right to take back absolute ownership to re-develop its properties in the event of an evacuation. After two buildings collapsed on August 28,about 418 families from the 31 buildings in the society were evacuated by the authorities.

For now,the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India,Vadodara,is willing to undertake redevelopment of the property.

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