Hc Say No To Staying Sra Demolition Order, ET RealEstate

June 24, 2023

MUMBAI: Refusing to stay the demolition of few structures on a nearly 12,000 sq m site at Jogeshwari (E), Bombay high court observed that it will not only delay actual rehabilitation but also prejudice those who have vacated the place.

“.. this completely elides the situation of others who have vacated and whose structures have been demolished. They are out on transit rent. They want the project to proceed so that they get their rehab units as fast as possible,’’ said Justices Gautam Patel and Neela Gokhale.

On Thursday they heard a petition by 11 occupants of structures against Slum Rehabilitation Authority’s eviction and demolition notice as there was no survey done and their eligibility not decided. On May 4, HC said their petition referred to the survey. Out of 272 people on site, 90 were found eligible. Some 180 persons did not cooperate. HC had allowed the petitioners to apply to SRA.

The judges said given that the survey was carried out, these structures must go. They said the petitioners’ seek “possibly as a mercy application” to extend time to vacate but such an application is “extremely unfair.” They noted that the petitioners “have staved off demolition for the last six months.”

The judges said under SRA law, rehab units have to be constructed first and “staying demolition of individual structures delays completion of the rehab units.”

“It seems to us unthinkable that persons who want protection against demolition should be so utterly unmindful of persons who were once their neighbours and fellow slum dwellers. This now becomes an each-person-for-himself-or herself situation and all sense of a community or a larger responsibility is lost. We will not permit this,” they added.

SRA’s advocate said it was waiting for authorities, including the electricity and rationing office, to confirm the petitioners’ documents. But the judges said it “entirely unacceptable’’ that SRA had not sent a reminder to the authorities as HC had ordered it to decide the petitioners’ application by June 8.

Adjourning the hearing to June 20, the judges said they would monitor the process of deciding eligibility until SRA’s final. The petitioners agreed to accept 6 months advance transit rent from Gyan S P Developers irrespective of their eligibility.

  • Published On Jun 18, 2023 at 02:10 PM IST

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