MUMBAI: A builder's failure to make much progress in carrying out a mega redevelopment scheme in Malad has cost him the project. The Bombay high court refused relief to Lashkaria Builders after the Maharashtra government cancelled approval to the developer to undertake rehabilitation of over 17,000 slum-dwellers and redevelop over 5.13 lakh square metres.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha said the developer had not been steadfast with regard to the time required for obtaining requisite consent of slum-dwellers. The developer, at the time of sanction in 2010, had claimed he would obtain consent of over 70% slum-dwellers within few weeks; he then sought 18 months, and finally told the HC that he would require another two years. The judges noted that the developer had taken the refund of Rs 52.41 crore after the state cancelled its approval.
"Without putting the deposit amount at stake, the developer has kept cluster development of the land...in limbo," the judges said.
Senior advocate Darius Khambata and assistant government pleader Milind More, who represented the state government, said the developer was not in a position to carry out the redevelopment. The Slum Rehabilitation Authority directed the builder to pay Rs 349.44 crore, the premium for the land, and the developer paid around Rs 52.42 crore as part payment. In May 2011, the state cancelled the allotment for the first time, and it was confirmed in April 2012.
The developer challenged the order, saying the state's decision was wrong, and it had the consent of 30-35% slum-dwellers.