Redevelopment of 25 dilapidated buildings was allowed by Bombay HC A bench of Justices Satyaranan Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel was hearing a petition by one building’s residents opposing the demolition.
Bombay high court on Wednesday cleared the decks for redevelopment of 25 dilapidated buildings at Sion Koliwada, which house Partition refugees, after it allowed the government to implement a scheme to include their names in land records.
A bench of Justices Satyaranan Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel was hearing a petition by one building’s residents opposing the demolition.
The government was previously asked if it has any policy to redevelop the buildings. Government advocate Laxmikant Satelkar submitted revenue and forest departments’ affidavit stating that the government had no such plans or policy.
The affidavit said 25 buildings at Sardar Nagar consisted of 1,200 flats; 19 buildings were constructed in 1955 and six in 1963. It said conveyance deeds were given to most flats in 19 buildings.
The government has decided to transfer the tenement to occupants of the remaining six buildings after they form a cooperative housing society.
The government on August 2 directed the divisional commissioner (Konkan division) “to enter names of societies of buildings 1-25 in the record of rights as occupant class I and also to ensure recovery of dues from flat-holders (excluding illegal transfers) into Sion Koliwada Displaced Persons Colony” and “to enter areas of buildings of cooperative housing societies in property card after deducting the area of illegal transfer cases”.
The judges said the affidavit itself was a policy. The bench said illegal transferees will not benefit and that while such things happen on private land, it cannot be allowed on government land. “Government may be liberal. We are not kind,” remarked Justice Dharmadhikari.
The judges said the six buildings will have to form cooperative societies and abide by its stipulations.