November 12, 2019

MHADA assigns Rs. 5000 crore redevelopment project to tainted builder

[ By Kavita Krishnan ]


SBM Realtors whose credentials and track records are under disgrace has been allowed by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), to redevelop the 25-acre MHB Colony in Borivli (West) in Mumbai worth an estimated Rs. 5,000 crore.

MHADA overruled objections raised by most residents of the residential enclave as well as an alarm raised by the Housing Minister in August following complaints against the builder, SBM Realtors. Of the total 19 societies, 13 have withdrawn their consent to the builder, complaining that the developer kept them hanging for 13 years.

They had appointed the construction firm way back in 2006 and signed a development agreement in 2010. But work never commenced. Moreover, on August 16, 2013, MHADA had itself rejected the builder’s proposal for failing to fulfill conditions under the redevelopment rules.

BJP’s Borivli MP Gopal Shetty said that if the residents had now decided to redevelop the buildings themselves, he would help them. However, Shetty had defended the developer – SBM Realtors in a letter to the MHADA CEO last month against a stop work notice issued by MHADA for constructing on a recreational ground within the MHB Colony.

The Housing Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil has allowed the said societies in the MHB to withdraw from the builder’s redevelopment project if they wished to do so. He has also ordered MHADA to investigate allegations against the builder for submitting fake and bogus documents about its past work experience and file a complaint if found to be true. He has further instructed the housing board to probe if the builder was illegally constructing on a plot reserved for recreational purposes. The Minister has ordered an action against MHADA officers if they are found guilty of committing irregularities in this project.

In the past two years, MHB residents filed a slew of Right To Information (RTI) applications, cross-checking the claims made by the developer regarding his past work experience.

SBM Realtors claimed it had 1,450 acres SEZ project in CBD Belapur near JNPT worth Rs. 20,000 crore. However, in an RTI reply, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) said it had no such proposal in its record under the name of SBM Realtors.

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