Mumbai: The Mumbai City and Slum Rehabilitation (ZOPU) Act is not for the benefit of developers but for the benefit of the public. Explaining this, the High Court has ordered the two developers implementing a slum project in Jogeshwari to immediately pay Rs 11 crore as rent arrears to eligible slum dwellers. If this amount is not paid, the high court (Bombay high court) has also warned the developers to withdraw from the project.
Developers are not only expected to rehabilitate slums, but are also required to pay transit rent till the completion of the project. But a developer who does not fulfill the terms of the agreement is not entitled to any benefit. In fact the privileges of such developers should be taken away. No developer can take advantage of public money. The High Court also clarified that the developer implementing the project can be changed, not the slum dwellers who will get the benefit of rehabilitation.
What’s the matter
The Shree Sai Pawan Slum Society had approached the High Court alleging that the two developers, Afcon Developers and Amey Housing, had not paid the rent for the transit camp since 2019. The petition was heard before a bench of Justice Gautam Patel and Justice Neela Gokhale during the hearing on this petition of the society. Both the developers were appointed as co-developers in this project. More than 300 slum dwellers are eligible to get flats for this project, but they have not received rent since 2019. Out of these 300 shack holders, 17 are living in transit camps and they too have not received the rent amount. Apart from this, the petitioners also alleged in the High Court that no work has been done on this project.
The High Court took serious note of this and gave harsh words to these developers. Also the Mumbai City and Slum Rehabilitation Act is not for developers. Developers are only a tool to achieve the objective of public welfare through this Act. Developers have the right to sell part of the plot for free through the Incentive Floor Area Scheme (FSI). But this time the High Court reminded that this benefit was given to the developers only to fulfill the conditions laid down in the agreement.
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