The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked the Maharashtra government's Housing department and the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) to convene a meeting to discuss the issue of agreements between SRA and realty firm Housing Development Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) pertaining to 24 slum rehabilitation schemes in Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai.
A division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and R I Chagl was hearing a petition filed by 32 slum dwellers of Bharat Nagar in Bandra, claiming HDIL was not finishing the project and had also stopped giving them transit rent.
SRA had earlier this month told the court that HDIL, whose promoters are facing criminal charges in the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) bank scam, was not in a position to carry out work on the projects.
The bench on Tuesday said, at present, it was concerned about the petitioners and several others who are waiting to get accommodation or transit rent.
"We direct the secretary of the state housing department and SRA officials to convene a meeting to discuss these issues and see if it can be resolved," the court said.
SRA counsel Ashutosh Kumbhakoni had told the court that proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code had been initiated against HDIL and an Insolvency Resolution Professional had been appointed by the National Company Law Tribunal.
"In a majority of the slum rehabilitation projects, either work has not begun or has not been completed beyond one or two per cent. Therefore, we have issued show cause notices for termination," Kumbhakoni had said.
The petitioners said they were declared eligible for rehabilitation under the scheme and had vacated their structures between 2006 and 2008.
The petitioners claimed they initially received transit rent from HDIL but the firm stopped paying it later and also failed to complete the work.
They further claimed SRA officials did not take any action against HDIL despite repeated complaints, reminders and representations since April 2018.
The petitioners sought a direction from the court for expeditious completion of the project and allotment of permanent accommodation to them.
As an interim measure, the petitioners have sought a direction to SRA to either provide residents with alternate accommodation till the completion of the project or pay them transit rent of Rs 17,500 per month, with a 10 per cent increase in the amount annually.
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