An amendment in the Development Control Regulation 33 (9) pertaining to cluster redevelopment has given tenants of old, cessed buildings in the island city the right to select their own builder. However, the ultimate power to sanction such schemes still rests with the landlords as without their consent no redevelopment can take place.
Last week in Nagpur, the state urban development department issued a notification amending the rules. According to the amendment, if 70% of tenants come together, they can select a developer of their choice. Once this process is done, the department would give them a letter of intent (LoI). Before this amendment, the right of selecting the developer rested only with the landlord. “It is possible that tenants would have been forced by the landlords to select the developer. The only reason to amend the existing rules was to give tenants a choice to select the developer,” said T C Benjamin, principal secretary, urban development.
According to the earlier rules, once the developer is appointed by the landlord, the administration used to give LoI for the project. After obtaining the letter, it was mandatory for the developer to get the consent of all the tenants within a period of one year from the date of the issue of letter.
Now with amendment, the developer selected by 70% of the tenants gets the LoI.
However, in this case too, the developer has to get the consent of the remaining tenants and landlord within one year from the date of issue of the letter.
“This has not meant much change for the developers. Earlier, developers would get conditional LoI. The situation remains almost the same even today,” said Vikram Pillai, vice-president, Lokhandwala infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the Remaking of Mumbai Federation, which has been fighting for giving equal rights to the tenants in the cluster redevelopment has welcomed the state government’s decision. “This will help in changing the face of Mumbai,” said Lalit Gandhi, chairman of the federation.
According to the federation, there are nearly 32,000 dilapidated buildings and this change will help 25 lakhs tenants across the city. Property expert, Vinod Sampat, too said it will not make any difference to developers. However, he said it will give tenants more bargaining power.