MUMBAI: Sixty-four families who were promised 450 sq ft flats worth Rs 1.20 crore in Bandra-Kurla Complex in return for vacating their flats in two Kurla buildings to make way for the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR) have been left in the lurch after the MMRDA went back on its word. In an affidavit filed before the Bombay high court, the MMRDA has now offered the families flats in faraway Kanjurmarg or Tilak Nagar. A division bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice A P Bhangale were informed of the new offer and the matter has now been kept for hearing on December 22.
Advocate Uday Warunjikar, counsel for the families, told the court that the flats which were supposed to be ready in 36 months never materialized and the MMRDA had failed to pay rental compensation since November 2014.
The families were residents of two buildings in a five-building complex in Netaji Nagar cooperative housing society in Kurla (W) constructed in the 1960s. The MMRDA in 2010 moved the high court seeking to get the families in the two buildings, which were in the way of the ambitious SCLR project, evicted. The MMRDA offered 450 sq ft flats to each family in a project being undertaken by a private builder in Bharat Nagar, BKC. When the residents objected that they were not slum dwellers, the MMRDA assured them that a separate plot would be carved out to construct flats for the families in a new building. Meanwhile, the authority agreed to pay them rental compensation of Rs 12,833 every month.
In a fresh affidavit filed by V G Patil, chief, social development cell, MMRDA, the MMRDA said that the BKC project has now gone out of its control and could get delayed indefinitely. Instead, the agency came with a fresh offer—flats in an LIG building in Tilak Nagar or flats in a project at Kanjurmarg or flats located in various parts of the city for the families. However, the availability of these flats too would involve a two- to three-year waiting period. While the Tilak Nagar project required approvals from the Airport Authority of India, the scheme at Kanjurmarg too had yet to obtain the necessary approvals. The affidavit promised a 10% increase in the rent but the residents claimed that they had not received any amount since November. "How will any project-affected person now believe in the promises made by MMRDA," said a resident.