It took HDIL all of a month to come round to Slum Rehabilitation Authority’s (SRA) terms and conditions with respect to its 11 lakh sqft commercial office project in BKC, worth Rs 2,600 cr. The project had to be stalled about a month ago due to a stop-work notice by SRA for failure on the part of builder to rehabilitate slum dwellers.
Last week, after HDIL promised to rehabilitate all the slum dwellers in the next two years, the SRA revoked its July notice. The notice pointed out that the developer had failed on its promise to rehabilitate Bandra West and BKC slum dwellers and hand over tenements for project-affected persons (PAPs) to the SRA, even though the project has been in the works for more than a decade.
SRA officials said the stop-work notice was also applicable to an ostentatious 10-storey business complex in BKC which HDIL had built and later sold to Adani Realty. The building, Inspire BKC, has an occupation certificate only till the seventh floor. It’s a rare project because HDIL was able to acquire the Inspire BKC plot only because it had promised to rehabilitate slum-dwellers from BKC to Bandra West free of cost.
Deepak Kapoor, CEO, SRA, confirmed that the notice was lifted after an on-site inspection. The authority asked the developer to submit a detailed plan for rehabilitating the slum dwellers. “In response, HDIL has given a detailed plan along with a time table to start work on the rehabilitation unit. They have also started the soil-testing process and have mobilised machinery on the site,” said a senior SRA official.
BJP legislator from Bandra West, Ashish Shelar, who had raised the issue of slum dwellers’ rehabilitation, said that the SRA must ensure that all slum dwellers are given new homes. “The SRA must also ensure that the time line is followed. If there is any further delay, then the developer should be penalised. The fact that the developer was allowed to shift the tenants to Bandra West from BKC was itself a scam which has been going on for 15 years,” Shelar said.
The slum project covers Hanuman Nagar and Indiraji Nagar near Bandra Reclamation. The two slum enclaves were allowed to be clubbed with Patthar Nagar, Rajiv Gandhi Nagar and Basera society slums in BKC.
An SRA official said that the developer had requested the SRA to revoke the notice as it wants to “complete the already delayed project by submitting a revised schedule of completion”.
When contacted, an HDIL official said that the slum dwellers will be rehabilitated within 29 months. “Within the time frame, each family will be given 269-sq ft houses after issuance of occupation certificate by the SRA. As per new government policy of 2011, there was an increase in the number of tenements. Work for the rehabilitation component has commenced accordingly. Approvals have been sought from the SRA and HDIL will comply with all the directions for completion of the project,” said Sarang Wadhawan, vice-chairman and MD, HDIL.