MH: Powai Hiranandani Garden Township Project

Social activists fighting land grab by builders have a reason to cheer. The Bombay High Court has restrained Mumbai-based Hiranandani Developers from carrying out further construction at a township it is developing in suburban Powai until it provides flats for the economically weaker sections of society. The court also put on hold the sale of the flats till further orders. The land was given on lease to Hiranandani in 1985 to build houses for poor. But in gross violation of all terms and conditions it built sky scrapers, housing societies and malls for the rich and the affluent. The February 23 order came after social activist Medha Patkar filed a petition against Hiranandani for irregularities and fraud in development of the township. “It is ironical that the government of Maharashtra was kind enough to give 121 hectare of land to Hiranandani at the rate of 40 paisa per acre (1 acre = 0.4 hecatre). But it continued to evict and demolish the homes of busti dwellers in Mandala, Sathe Nagar, Golibar, Kannamwar Nagar and others areas,” says Patkar. Reacting to the decision, the social activist says, “it is a victory for the struggles of the working classes of Mumbai who live in slums, bastis and chawls. They face eviction and are constantly termed as encroachers.” The interim judgment of the high court vindicates our stand and once again proves criminal nexus between builders, politicians and bureaucracy. We welcome the directions of the court and hope the land will be returned to the original owners or used for the urban poor, she adds. The high court bench comprising justice Mohit...

MH: Cumbala Hill Slum Rehabilitation Project

A builder carrying out a slum rehabilitation project with a proposed 60-storey tower at Cumbala Hill near Forjett Street informed the Bombay HC on Wednesday that no further construction would take place till July 4. Locals had challenged the project permissions which they said were granted without a proper environment impact study and by amending zoning laws in 2006 to circumvent an earlier HC order that prevents SRA schemes on open spaces. The HC bench began dictating its order when the developer Halkara offered to not go ahead except for soil compaction work. The SRA and state have to allow residents inspection of...

TS: Khammam Indiramma Housing Project

The weaker section housing activity came to a virtual standstill in the district over the past few months, particularly in the aftermath of the CID probe ordered by the Telangana government into alleged large-scale irregularities in the execution of Indiramma housing scheme during 2004-2014. As many as 64,415 houses taken up under various weaker section housing programmes, including the Indiramma housing scheme, were pending completion across the district. Of the total 2,87,233 houses sanctioned under the weaker section housing programmes in the district so far, 2,22,818 houses were completed till July 31, this year. The government has incurred a huge expenditure to the tune of Rs. 1,025 crore towards execution of the housing programmes in the district, sources added. As many as 64,415 houses were lying incomplete in the ten Assembly constituencies in the district. Of these, 10,978 houses were at below basement level, 27,989 at basement level, 4,732 houses at lintel level and 20,716 houses at roof level. The fate of the incomplete houses now hangs in balance as the officials concerned allegedly held back payments in respect of some houses in view of the ongoing inquiry into the alleged scam that took place in the housing scheme in the last decade. The departmental inquiries had earlier revealed as many as 21 instances of irregularities in respect of 977 houses involving an amount of Rs. 12 crore in the district.The CID teams reportedly found glaring irregularities in the implementation of the Indiramma housing scheme during their recent field based investigation at various places in the district. The divisional engineers are conducting a field-based study to verify the status...