Mumbai: MHADA tries to force Mahalaxmi Sadan residents out of homes

Updated: Jan 31, 2019, 14:46 IST | Chetna Yerunkar | Mumbai

Residents, who have been provided with alternative accommodation in Mazgaon itself, haven't been given keys to flats yet

Residents have alleged that the alternate accommodation they have been allotted hasn't even been repaired
Residents have alleged that the alternate accommodation they have been allotted hasn't even been repaired

From Mahalaxmi to Gorai to Mazgaon, residents of Mahalaxmi Sadan are having quite a tough time with the construction of Metro III. The MHADA's repair and reconstruction board has now asked them to shift into Mazgaon's Nariyalwadi area after the first notice asked them to relocate to Gorai to make way for the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz underground metro line.

MHADA officials, on Wednesday, tired to coerce residents into leaving their homes even as the residents alleged that they had not received the keys to the new homes. They thus approached the police for help and eventually got the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and Mumbai Metro Railway Corporation Limited (MMRCL) authorities to hear them out.

MHADA's October orders
The Mahalaxmi Sadan residents had been asked to shift to Gorai in October last year even as 30 students here were preparing for their semester exams. The residents did not vacate the premises then since they had no clarity on whether they would be able to return to their building after the construction concluded or get a redeveloped house. The MHADA, residents alleged, gave them no assurance in this regard. Also, among the 19 families residing here, only 17 were given allotment letters even as the two families remained in the dark about their homes.

The authorities heard the residents out after the police intervened in the matter
The authorities heard the residents out after the police intervened in the matter

Residents get Sunday deadline
Towards the end of Wednesday, authorities finally assured residents that they would be resettled with due documentation and will need to now vacate the premises by Sunday. This was, however, possible only thanks to police intervention. "When the MMRCL officials came in with bouncers and three vehicles to vacate our houses, we approached the police for help," said the Mahalaxmi Sadan's secretary Abhay Babar.

"It was only after the police asked the authorities for notices and protection permissions that the authorities agreed to hear us out. All we wanted was a written assurance regarding our houses from MHADA and a place for us to stay. Now we have been asked to vacate this place by Sunday and will be given the keys to our new accommodations along with an assurance," Babar added.

Vinod Ghosalkar, chairman of MHADA Mumbai's R and R board, said, "The issue is being resolved. Even the two families which didn't get a letter will be given alternative accommodation in the nearby area once the houses are available. I have directed the concerned MHADA officials to take care of the matter and assured the residents that there will be no injustice." MMRCL spokesperson was unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts to reach him.

'New houses in shambles'
Residents also alleged that the place where the MHADA is shifting them to is in shambles. Ravindra Sahani, a resident of Mahalaxmi Sadan, said, "They want us to shift to a place which is yet to be repaired. There are no drainage pipes fitted, the doors and windows are broken and they expect us to leave immediately."

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