It is not at all breaking news that housing societies in Mumbai are on their own. They are compelled to deal with the violations of State Rule as government looks sideways. It looks odd all the more as housing cooperatives offer huge revenue to state coffers in terms of Property Tax and Water Tax.
As a second legal step to get justice, having lost the one in the dismissal of petition by a single Judge Bench of Bombay High Court accepting violators plea of getting the violations regularized, Chetak cooperative housing society filed an appeal against the construction firm, Sandhu Builders, for building violations in the Bombay high court.
In a fall out to the crime of daring the mighty builder lobby a police complaint (FIR) has been filed by a Senior Citizen and a Committee member of the housing society for an alleged threat to his life by the developer.
According to the Senior Citizen’s complaint, reportedly Sandhu barged into his office around 7.45pm on July 24. “He warned the senior citizen against going to court any further or meeting his lawyers. Threatening to bump off the senior citizen and his family , the developer reportedly pulled out a gun and kept it on the desk,“ witnessed by another committee member.
Bangur Nagar police station is investigating the matter, but no arrests have been reportedly made. As per a news paper report, ironically, the Builder’s story ran like. Builder was being framed. The senior citizen has been demanding money from him to withdraw the court case. He had gone to his office, along with his architect at his insistence. Sandhu was worried that the Senior Citizen would approach the cops against him and therefore took cautious approach and submitted an application at the police station about the facts of the matter on July 28,“
Chetak society’s case as reported is like this. “The builder had violated development control rules and grabbed more floor space index (FSI) than it was entitled to in collusion with the civic body. The society had allowed the developer to acquire development rights for three of its four plots. However, the builder allegedly usurped the rights of the fourth plot, which was not part of the agreement. This plot measured 1,775 sq m and also included another 725 sq m reserved for a road setback (future expansion).
What is most outrageous to the housing society in this case is a dismissal of its petition by the single judge bench.
The Society’s please against the single bench judge is he has completely erred “in not considering the serious violations done by the developer.” The single judge has amazingly and erroneously recorded the assurances of the developer for regularizing serious violations of law,“
The Committee of the Society is pretty confident that these violations of the recreational grounds and parking are practically not at all possible to regularize and hence appeal was filed against single judge order of dismissal.
Fearlessness demonstrated by cooperative housing society deserves kudos to dare the two mighty bodies the developer and civic body. All cooperators must lend a strong support and stand by such act of bravery.
Another intrigue is the State witnessing such things in utter silence. If nothing more at least give advisories to take sides of such daring cooperatives to instill far more daring instinct among all housing societies in the leading metro of cooperatives. Their strength is vital to the growth of the metro undoubtedly.
A million dollar question is should the State not reserve for itself any administrative responsibility under the development rules framed by itself ? Does it want to simply frame the Rules and leave it to the Court to solve the grievances of housing societies? It’s high time the Apex Court of the State directs the State to amend the Rules to assume responsibility of its smooth functioning also.
Rules are made for addressing needs of the housing sector and after making Rules it raises it hands off the implementation woes of the housing societies. Will the most talked about Housing Regulator bring in some relief to self made housing societies in Mumbai?
– By I C Naik