Mumbai: MIG societies in tizzy as state issues contradictory orders in 16 days

Updated: Nov 14, 2018, 16:40 IST | Sanjeev Shivadekar | Mumbai

After passing a stay on the redevelopment of six housing societies in Bandra East on September 28, co-operative department's deputy registrar changes his own order on October 15 without any explanation

At nearly 8,000 square metres, the redevelopment of six MIG societies is among the city’s most prime contracts. Pic/Nimesh Dave
At nearly 8,000 square metres, the redevelopment of six MIG societies is among the city’s most prime contracts. Pic/Nimesh Dave

Even the state doesn't know what to make of the ongoing battle over one of the city's biggest redevelopment projects. Within the span of a month, the state's department of cooperatives has passed two contradictory orders on six MIG societies in Bandra East - first, imposing a stay on the redevelopment, and then backing off in the second one, claiming lack of jurisdiction.

With nearly 8,000 metres to play with, the redevelopment of six MIG societies in Bandra East is among the city's most prime contracts. However, like so many other redevelopment projects, this one too is locked at the centre of a battle between society residents, who are unable to agree upon which builder to hand the contract to. Now, the two different factions are accusing each other of irregularities.

The six MIG buildings are over 50 years old. Pic/Nimesh Dave
The six MIG buildings are over 50 years old. Pic/Nimesh Dave

Contradictory orders
Adding further confusion to the mix, the deputy registrar of cooperative societies, Bajrang Jadhav, has issued two contradictory orders on the issue since September. The first order was passed on September 28, when deputy registrar Jadhav issued a stay order on the entire redevelopment process, after being approached by society members opposed to the current managing committee. Shirish Parkar, a society member who is part of this opposition, said, "We are not against the project; we too want our societies to be redeveloped. But, not all members are in favour of the process adopted for selection of the developer by the existing management."

Just a fortnight later, though, on October 15, the same official issued another order stating that issues raised were not in his purview, and the complainants should approach the cooperative court instead (mid-day has both order copies).

"We wonder what made the official change his first order?" Parkar questioned. Deputy registrar Jadhav did not respond to mid-day's text messages or calls. The societies, now over 50 years old, had been built by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) for the Middle Income Group (MIG). The buildings were then handed over to the cooperative housing societies, comprising 120 families.

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Irregularities?
Some society members have accused that the current managing committee of irregularities such as withholding information from residents and not following the procedure for inimation of special general body meetings to discuss the contract.

The management members denied all charges and countered with allegations of their own. The claimed that had adhered to the society by-laws, and accused the earlier committee of embezzling funds.

"Over Rs 58 lakh is what we believe has been misused by the earlier committee members. The money was transferred to five different accounts. We have approached the registrar, and accordingly, and auditor has been appointed for scrutiny of the books," said Chetan Mehta, chairman of the current committee. "We have done nothing wrong or beyond the rules. The current committee members are ready to testify before any authority," Mehta added.

On the other hand, Rajesh Rajadhyaksha, secretary of the earlier committee, said these allegations were false, frivolous and vindictive in nature. "The expenses were incurred for transfer of tenancy, conveyance and demarcation. Society has done all the work with the approval of the general body. No work was done with unilateral decision," he added. He added, "We will urge MHADA to conduct a detailed inquiry in this case. No further development should be allowed till the inquiry is completed."

What divides residents
The residents are divided between the current managing committee, which was in favour of the redevelopment project, and the preceding committee, over alleged misappropriation of funds

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