MUMBAI: In a unique battle, tenants of a large plot in Tardeo have come to the Bombay high court to intervene and oppose a developer's demand for an occupancy certificate (OC) for their own rehabilitation building.
The residents of Patil Wadi, also known as Deshbhushan Cooperative Housing Society, filed chamber summons to make themselves heard as party to the petition filed by builders Kamala Group against the BMC.
The builders, through their counsel Milind Sathe, said the 21-storey rehabilitation building was completed in 2013 but the BMC had refused to issue an OC on "vague grounds".
Advocate Gopal Hegde, counsel for a group of eight tenants, informed a bench headed by Justice Anoop Mohta last week that the occupants must be heard by the BMC before deciding on the OC. There are over 110 tenants and few had come to court.
They said the plot on which the rehabilitation building now stands is next to the 24-storey Matru Mandir constructed in 1971 on the "same large plot".
They said while the Matru Mandir building and plot was conveyed in the early 1970s, an area of 574 square yards was "handed over by the private owners to the BMC based on which all the available FSI was consumed to regularize Matru Mandir".
The BMC said it had received complaints from certain occupants about the land and lack of any floor space index (FSI) on it, but the builder said that the BMC was "erroneously and illegally" withholding the OC and flouting the development control rules.
The tenants claim that there can not be any available FSI left on the remaining plot and for a rehabilitation project permission can not be given for construction on the vacant 574 square yard plot as the developer allegedly "suppressed" the fact that there was no FSI available.
On Monday, the bench of Justice Anoop Mohta and Justice F M Reis was informed after a hearing that the BMC had held a meeting to decide the developer's plea for grant of OC, as directed earlier by the court.
The BMC decision is awaited and the HC will hear the matter next on Tuesday.
The builders said they had 7,000 square metres of plot reserved for housing for the dishoused and the FSI on it became available after 1991 and redevelopement of the dilapidated structure was sought in 2004. The work on it started in 2009.