The issue of builders not selling flats to people based on their food preferences or because of religion, caste, etc has always made headlines. It was brought up in BMC on Tuesday, after a demand by an MNS corporator about introducing a clause that says builders who discriminate won’t be granted permissions to construct buildings. The BMC, after discussing the issue twice, in its final reply, has said that this is not possible as it looks into technical issues of construction and cannot direct builders on whom to sell flats to.
The proposal was mooted by corporator Sandip Deshpande, who is also the group leader of MNS in the BMC. It seeks that builders, who discriminate on the basis of religion, food preferences, and caste, shouldn’t be given an Intimation of Disapproval, Commencement Certificate and even water connection.
The BMC’s reply to this proposal states, “The projects (buildings) come up on private land, the responsibility of the BMC is to look into the technical details of the project. It wouldn’t be appropriate to involve the suggestions.”
However, corporators aren’t too happy with this, “The BJP gets funds from builders and hence they are not letting this happen. I have asked my people in the improvements committee to get this proposal referred back,” said Deshpande.
Similarly, Rais Shaikh, the group leader of Samajwadi Party in the BMC, also alleged that the BJP sides with builders, and hence they aren’t taking this issue seriously as it will affect the builders’
Meanwhile, Prakash Gangadhare, BJP corporator and the chairman of the improvements committee, where the issue was discussed yesterday, said, “We have referred the issue to the administration.”
Another BJP leader claimed that a builder shouldn’t be told how to do business and hence they are not supporting this move. “A builder will sell his flats according to his business strategy. How can we dictate terms on which they have to do business?” he said.
A prominent builder from Mumbai claimed, “We sell flats, we never discriminate. Most of the times, it’s the residents who claim that they cannot stay with someone who eats non-veg. Then they decide on their own. We are here to do business. We sell flats to whoever pays money for them. But one thing is for sure, that BMC or anybody else cannot tell us how to do business.”