Bombay HC clears way for Shapoorji Pallonji project
The Bombay High Court has paved the way for Shapoorji Pallonji Group to develop a big chunk of Slum Rehabilitation project of about 113,321.54 sq m near World Trade Centre in Cuffe Parade, South Mumbai.
Justice Nitin Jamdar and Justice Milind Jadhav from the division bench dismissed the plea filed by Dyna Estate Pvt Ltd and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Nagar Sahakari Griha Nirman Sanstha. It observed that slum dwellers have been looking for rehabilitation over the last two decades. Schemes, such as SRA, were implemented to reduce the hardships faced by slum dwellers. They are not meant to be kept aside by the writ courts based on technical grounds unless a case of illegalities or failure of justice.
The court in its 63-page order mentioned that the precaution and Shapoorji Pallonji have sufficient net worth as examined by their chartered accountant. The documents showing the net worth of the company were also annexed. Nothing has been demonstrated to indicate that the company does not have the financial capacity.
Precaution Properties Pvt Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shapoorji Group. The company was meant to implement a slum rehabilitation scheme for a slum plot of 113,000 sq m for which it had submitted its proposal in April 2012. Multiple bids were submitted to the Slum Redevelopment Authority (SRA) during the time to develop the project. It included developers such as Plymouth Construction, Shree Lekha Enterprise and Doshi Darshan Group.
Dyna Estate, the petitioner had also submitted a proposal on 18th April 2013 to the rehabilitation scheme for land measuring 7,252 sq m. They challenged the proposal of Precaution since it failed to receive 70% consents when it submitted its proposal. It has improved its position later on.
Moreover, Precaution does not have the financial capacity of its own.
The court has observed that piecemeal implementation for the scheme is not viable.
Precaution’s proposal includes the entire area; however, it was not processed due to several pending litigations. Their proposal has support from 84% of eligible slum dwellers belonging to 23 co-operative housing societies. Moreover, their financial position is robust enough to ensure the dwellers are housed.
Additionally, the Petitioner’s approval is only 6.4% of the total property. However, they have a small majority with them. The area under their proposal is unbuildable. The respondents believe that the Petitioner's stand no chance of executing the scheme. They intend to prevent others from implementing.
The scheme for rehabilitation of 60,000 dwellers has been held up even after a payment of Rs 150 crore for land premium and interest in 2017.
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