MUMBAI: Redevelopment of a prime two-acre BMC plot at Marine Lines has been stuck for nearly two years while the civic body has done little to push for it. The plot which housed BIT (Bombay Improvement Trust) chawls was taken up for redevelopment nearly five years ago.

“We were to get new homes in eight years but so far our homes have been demolished and we are out without rent for two years,” said Savio D’Souza, a resident.

The 682 residents have been promised 405 sq feet carpet area residences.

Two years ago the developer, Valencia and Mishal Ventures Pvt Ltd, stopped paying rent to the residents. “We paid the tenants advance rent when the letter of intent was issued by BMC. In all we have paid Rs 90 crore in rent. The society committee needs to sign a tripartite agreement but committee members are making unreasonable demands,” said Shoaib Atik, the proprietor.

The matter is now before Bombay high court. In the petition, tenants accused BMC of being in cohorts with the developer forcing them to accept the transit accommodation.

Atik said the development agreement requires alternate accommodation to be provided and they have made it available in Kandivli. Chetan Gosia, chief promoter for Chandan Arc society, said they never agreed to alternate accommodation. “We were to be paid rent of Rs32,000 per month which the developer initially provided,” he said.

“For the tripartite agreement to be signed the developer needs to provide the committee with the registered individual agreements, receipts of stamp duty paid, Rs 4.2 lakh paid to the registrar’s office and architect’s letter,” said Gosia.

Sanjeev Jaiswal, additional municipal commissioner, said the civic body would soon call a meeting of tenants along with local representatives to decide if the residents want to continue with the developer or want BMC to appoint another one.

TIMES VIEW: This is another tragic case of perils of redevelopment in Mumbai. Lack of accountability and developer unable to stick to timeline has led to a major humanitarian crisis for thousands of stranded families. Errant builders get away as government has not cracked down on them. BIT chawl residents accused BMC of being hand-in-glove with the builder. Unless penalties are imposed and such builders prosecuted, tenants will continue to get shortchanged.

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