'Builder forcing me to pay Rs 9 lakh for broken promise'
A 72-year-old fights Kandivli builder after he tells her to pay for two redeveloped flats she's entitled to as he has given her 'more carpet area'
A 72-year-old Kandivli resident, struck by paralysis, is locked in a redevelopment battle with a construction firm. As per an agreement signed in 2008, Indira Ghia is supposed to get two flats of 523.88 square feet each in a building redeveloped from a chawl, where she lived earlier.
But, the developer has now sent her a letter telling her to pay R4.5 lakh for each flat, as the carpet area has increased by 22.50 square feet. Ghia's family claims that as per the agreement, they were promised both the flats at Aman Society in Kandivli West. But now the construction firm — Kandur Corporation — has dashed off a letter to the elderly woman telling her to pay R4.5 lakh for each flat as now the carpet area is more than what was mentioned in the development agreement, signed between the builder and the society.
Aman Society in Kandivli redeveloped from a chawl. Pic/Nimesh Dave
The letter issued by the builder in April 2019, says, "We were under an obligation to provide carpet area of 523.88 square feet for each flat. But now the carpet area of the flats allotted to you [read as Indira Ghia] has increased by 22.50 square feet [each]. As per the purchase price of R20,000 per square feet, an additional payment of R4.50 lakh for each flat needs to be made to take possession."
In fact, the family had approached the police to file a complaint in the matter on May 23, 2018, but a case was not registered. Thereafter, they submitted a grievance application. With no option left, they approached the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) for assistance early this week.
Ghia has given the power of attorney to her brother, Kamlesh Dhruv, to fight the case on her behalf. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
'Will not pay'
Speaking to mid-day, Ghia said, "The documents officially obtained from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation [building plan] clearly states that area of each flat is 517 square feet. But now the developer claims that the area is 546.38 square feet. The BMC document itself punches a hole in the developer's claims. Hence, there is no question of making a payment to take possession of the flats."
In October 2017, Ghia suffered a paralytic attack. Since her movements are restricted, she has given her younger brother — Kamlesh Dhruv — the power of attorney to fight the case on her behalf.
Ghia had vacated her Kandivli house in 2010 to make way for the redevelopment project. Pic/Nimesh Dave
The complainant's family has also alleged that the developer changed their original allotments. "The developer is now offering flat no. A-304 and 404 as against flat no. 504 and 604, which were promised and even mentioned in the registered agreement," alleged Dhruv. He further said that besides changing the flats, the developer also cheated them by changing the wing of the building that was promised earlier.
After negotiations between the developer and society started in 2006, the agreement was signed and registered in 2008. Two years later in 2010, Ghia vacated her house in Kandivli and moved to a place in Kama Galli, Ghatkopar, to make way for the redevelopment project. Accordingly, in 2019 the developer handed over the flats to the other owners.
However, one of the partners in the firm that redeveloped the chawl, Siddik Hafizi, refuted all the charges and claimed that the original agreement was terminated on request of the owner. Further, terming the allegations baseless, the developer said, "I have all the documents to prove that the charges leveled against me and the firm have no merit."
In fact, the developer said that he had asked the owner to take possession of the flats but she wasn't ready. "I have even issued a cheque for the rent they paid at their temporary accommodation, but it has not been deposited in the bank yet. Now, I cannot go to the bank and deposit the cheque on their behalf," Hafizi added.
When asked why Ghia had made a complaint against the developers, Hafizi said, "Even I can't understand why. Probably, it's because of reasons known best to them."
The carpet area of each flat that was promised
Additional carpet area for which the developer is demanding money
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe