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Mumbai: Last Punjabi Colony building set to be razed next week

Updated on: 07 December,2022 07:51 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Prajakta Kasale |

Residents pulled down most structures following HC order; talks on with MHADA for redevelopment but it will take around six months to arrive at conclusion

Mumbai: Last Punjabi Colony building set to be razed next week

While this last building at Punjabi Colony, GTB Nagar will be pulled down next week, residents have no idea when the redevelopment will begin. Pic/Ashish Raje

Punjabi Colony in GTB Nagar is soon to be flattened, with only one of 25 buildings standing still. The BMC is set to start pulling down this structure, which has been declared dilapidated, next week. The residents, however, still do not have any certainty about redevelopment and are being forced to live in rented homes. The residents are in talks with MHADA about redevelopment but it will take around six months to arrive at a decision, said a MHADA official.

The colony was constructed by the government on Collector’s land between 1958 and 1962 to house refugees from the Punjab province in Pakistan. There were 25 four-storey structures with a total of 1,200 apartments. There have been talks of redevelopment since the past 15 or so years after the buildings began to develop cracks, but it did not materialise so far. 

Declared dilapidated in 2020

The Brihanmumbai Municipal declared the buildings as dilapidated and also cut water and electricity connections in 2020. However, around 100 families still continued to live in the decrepit structures till August this year. 

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The civic body then started to pull down the buildings. The residents approached the Bombay High Court asking that they be allowed to pull down the buildings on their own. After getting HC nod, they started to raze the structures. Currently, the work on demolishing two buildings adjacent to a gurdwara is on and one building still stands. 

Gajanan Bellale, assistant commissioner of F North ward which covers GTB Nagar, said, “The residents pulled down the structures as per the HC order. They were unable to demolish building number one, so the BMC is in process to pull it down. The work will start this week. The BMC was concerned about the dilapidated structures as it might cause a disaster. The residents can go for redevelopment now.”


Though the buildings are demolished, no redevelopment plan has been sanctioned till now. “The redevelopment plan is being discussed with MHADA through an empanelled architect. But as of today, there isn’t anything in black and white. People are living in rented houses without any monetary help,” said Babubhai Malhotra, a resident of the colony.

Another resident Sakpal Duggal said while authorities were concerned about the possible disaster due to dilapidated structures, it is the residents who are forced to live in rented flats they cannot afford. “The authorities should consider this aspect also,” he said.

Milind Borikar, chief officer, MHADA, told mid-day, “The discussion for redevelopment is on. We have been studying the potential of the area for a cluster redevelopment plan. It will take another four to six months to come to a conclusion. There isn’t any issue with the plot as it is owned by the government and it will be handed over to MHADA for redevelopment.”

No of buildings that were erected in Punjabi Colony

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