Bombay HC Sets Up Special Cell to Address Senior Citizens’ Complaints on Redevelopment Delays | Mumbai News – Times of India | IIT EXPERT



Mumbai: The state govt has told Bombay HC that it has come out with a policy to deal with delays in redevelopment of buildings that affect senior citizens.
A bench of Justices Girish Kulkarni and Firdosh Pooniwalla was given the state housing department’s March 4 circular that set out measures (see graphic) to be taken in such cases. The circular said various statutory bodies must strictly comply with the directives.
In its March 7 order, HC said said more proactive steps may be taken “so that redevelopment is not delayed and senior citizens are not required to unwarrantedly suffer”. It said it was “quite satisfied” with govt’s approach towards addressing the issues it had highlighted, especially those concerning the protection of senior citizens’ fundamental rights “in regard to the need for shelter and/or a roof over their head, in the twilight years of their lives”.
HC heard a plea by Jayashree Dholi (64), a Mulund resident who vacated her flat in 2019 in Navin Manju CHS building that was to be redeveloped. Square One Realty has allegedly done nothing so far since taking up the project in 2016.
The judges directed all planning authorities to maintain a list of redevelopment projects involving senior citizens and sought formation of a special cell to monitor redevelopment. “The endeavour of state govt also would be to the effect that any disputes between the members and the developer or the society on any redevelopment issues do not adversely affect the interest of the senior citizens and the redevelopment does not take a back seat and get delayed,” HC said.
The judges batted for “proactive steps”, such heavy penalties and removal of developers, saying unless these are taken, “the plight of senior citizens, which is brought before the court by the petitioner, would continue unabated”. They said officers must be “alive, sensitive and humane in their approach in dealing with such issues, and above it, conscious of the pain and agony of the senior citizens, who may be the victims of delayed redevelopment for no fault of theirs”.
They directed the authorities to accept complaints about delays in redevelopment projects from senior citizens, which should be immediately looked into by a special cell/officer on a case-to-case basis.
On redevelopment of Dholi’s CHS, the judges noted that there “appears to be internal disputes”. They said the project will be covered under the state’s March 4 circular. The developer’s advocate assured HC it “has all the wherewithal and the economic feasibility/capacity to complete the project”. The judges said the CHS, Dholi and other disagreeing members “should not delay redevelopment any further” and resolve their disputes amicably. While disposing of the plea, HC appreciated Dholi’s efforts “to bring these issues before the court”. “Her efforts would help innumerable senior citizens who are awaiting the redevelopment of their tenements,” it said.





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