Worli Slum Redevelopment Plan Is Back On Track
If all goes well, one of Mumbai’s prominent localities, Worli, will see a fresh supply of new units along with fewer slum units in the coming time. In process since 1999, the Bombay High Court has struck down an order of the High Powered Committee (HPC) cancelling the redevelopment project on the 17,000 sq ft land, which was handed over to Lulu Vas by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation without executing lease deed. With Bombay HC taking a stand against the HPC, the slum redevelopment project might see the light of day.
The legal tangle
It was in 1965 that the BMC handed over the possession of land to Lulu Vas without any lease deed. However, in 1971, the plot came under the Slum Act and the leaseholder expired leaving behind a legal heir. While, in 1999, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) approved the redevelopment of the plot formed by the slum-dwellers living on the plot, it was in 2008 when the legal heir came forward to execute his power of authority to deal with the land. Thereafter, the committee cancelled the redevelopment plan but eventually in 2015, BMC cancelled the lease and the case moved to the court. Now, the Bombay High Court has ruled that the issue of whether the Vas family was entitled to the lease of the plot was pending before the civil court and even if they won, at the most as per the provisions they would get a premium in lieu of the redevelopment.
The question of the lease was also to be decided as BMC had never signed a contract with Vas and in fact in 2015 had cancelled the lease. The court also added that no objection can be raised over the redevelopment of the land.
According to the record available with the court, there are around 100 families staying on the land, out of which 47 slum dwellers have already vacated their units and have shifted to the transit accommodation. The developer has started the demolition of the slum structures. The Bombay High Court bench has directed the SRA to take necessary steps for the redevelopment of the land.