The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed developer Niranjan Hiranandani to submit a revised plan for building houses for middle and low-income groups in Powai to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The civic body has been asked to take a decision on the new proposal by June 15.
The court also maintained that all construction in the scheme must be for weaker sections as per the tripatrite agreement between the developer,the BMC and the MMRDA. The division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi refused to entertain the developers demand that he be allowed to construct 15 per cent commercial construction,as per the prevailing development control regulations. The judges noted that although the DCR has such a provision,no such provision was there in the tripartite agreement,which was signed in 1986.
The court directed that any commercial construction which is complete only till the plinth level should be treated as vacant land.
Also,on an argument made by Hiranandanis counsel Aspi Chinoy pertaining to inadequacy of land for constructing all the structures,Justice Davi orally remarked,If the land is inadequate,then you may have to demolish some structures.
In February,the court had restrained the developer from carrying out any further construction on the project until houses for middle and low- income groups were constructed as per the agreement. Subsequenely,the apex court also refused to entertain his appeal,prompting him to withdraw the case.
According to the developer,about 1.27 lakh sq ft of housing remains to be constructed in the scheme. However,the figure is disputed by the petitioners in the case.
The directives were given in response to a set of public interest litigations raising the issue. The petitioners claim that commercial construction was carried out by Hiranandani at the scheme in complete breach of the agreement.