Legislature passes act to make redevelopment of decrepit buildings easy.
Nagpur: In a move that will significantly alter the position of tenants living in more than 19,000 dilapidated buildings in the city, the state legislature on Friday passed an act making redevelopment of the buildings easy. The new act will safeguard the tenants’ right to property which was earlier denied by owners in the absence of such a law. Thus the act will ensure tenants’ right to property is protected even if their buildings are razed.
The amendment in the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act 2016 will further give tenants the right to self-redevelopment. Minister of state for urban development department Ranjit Patil tabled the bill before the Assembly and got it approved with consensus from all the members on Friday. He assured the house that the government would seek a list of owners refusing to give permissions for redevelopment or who were deliberately delaying the process.
“There are many dilapidated buildings in Mumbai which are razed by the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation). However, owners do not opt for redevelopment, and in case they do, they refuse to guarantee completion of the project on time and hence protection of tenants is necessary,” the act said.
If the BMC marks a building as dilapidated and wants to demolish it, the owner has to give a list of tenants, the area of the building and other details to the BMC in writing. The act will also make the builder accountable if he delays redevelopment. Thus, the rights of the tenants will be protected even if the building is demolished, the act said.
Provisions in municipal act:
The state government will initiate inquiry regarding the apathy shown by the civic administration in issuing permission to tenants for repairing their buildings. Though there is a provision under section 499 of the BMC Act to give tenants authority to undertake repairs to their buildings, the BMC officers deliberately disregard application made by tenants, said BJP MLA Parag Alavani.
“Every building has to undergo a structural audit and if necessary, the owner is served notice to repair the building under section 354. However, if it cannot be repaired, the dilapidated building is demolished by the BMC by virtue of powers under section 489. The tenants, thus forcibly evicted, have no option but to accept the terms of owners for redevelopment,” Mr Alavani said. Although section 499 empowers BMC to give authority to tenants to repair the building, the Act is silent on authority for redevelopment.