News Desk, Ground Report Mumbai
K Raheja developers allegedly constructed the buildings upon encroached lands on which they had no title.
Despite drizzle, hundreds of people from 22 housing societies residing in Raheja Vihar & Vista, Powai in metropolis Mumbai gathered outside K Raheja office on July 7th to demand justice against what they call ‘illegal enctoachment’. It has come to light that the developer allegedly built the buildings upon encroached lands on which they had no title.
In what may be termed a replay of ‘Campa Cola fiasco’, the original trust owner of Sir Mohammed Yusuf trust, who’s name is also present on the 7/12 extract has dragged the developer to court, with a series of orders received recently from the court. The Damocles sword is now hanging over the fate of the hapless residents who may have to pay for the sins of ‘others’ and lose their homes to the said trust.
‘As per our knowledge, the original Trust owner had given the rights of development of 1,69,000 sq.mtr of land to Raheja Builders. K Raheja’s company Indian Cork Mill had encroached over 2,32,000 sq.mtr of land & falsly acquired permission & developed the encroached land. The judgement of Revenue Department in favor of the Trust has been a constant irritant for the residents like us. The Revenue Department has named the Trust as the rightful owner of the land. The observation by the fiscal body worried us as this would make us homeless. We do not have property card or conveyance deed’, laments Gautam Sehgal, one of the residents.
The history of Campa Cola society seems to be repeating in Powai now. the residents of the Campa Cola society were given respite by the Supreme court but Powai residents have lost all hope of justice.
Nityanand, the manager of K Raheja stated that they have heard the complaint of the residents and are now in talk with the higher authorities. He said that they have asked the residents to give them ten days to reply. The residents, however have warned of a bigger protest if they do not get the reply within the stipulated period.
Tenants cling on together & protested against the new development in the said land as the developer failed to provide any clarity on the existing title matters & high court proceedings. It has also come to light that they have submitted the said cancelled 7/12 extracts in order to take approvals from respective authorities for this new construction.
Tenants/Flat owners are concerned regarding the saleability of their flats in the complex as recently filed lis pendency & legal action from original owners has restricted their ability to buy or sell with an effective title.
On the other hand the developer of the society K Raheja denies all the allegations against them and reiterated they got all the legal rights of the said properties’ development.
In a letter addressing to the residents of the said societies, K Raheja writes,’ Indian cork Mills acquired full ownership rights in these properties at Village Tungwa of Powai estate from Mohammad yusuf trust in or around 1964 under registered documents. K.Raheja corp acquired development rights to these properties in or around 1981; got possession of the properties obtained after necessary statutory permission and started construction. We have adopted the best practices in construction and have complied to the approvals and permission from various authorities in a time bound manner, though, it is only in 2008 / 2009 that Mohammed Yusuf trust wrongly started making claims on a part of the properties under development by approaching the Revenue authorities. In order to protect the rights K. Raheja corp and Indian cork Mills Ltd initiated proceedings in the Bombay High court in the year 2013 for a declaration that it is the owner of these properties. It is only then that Mohammed Yusuf trust filed a suit in the High court. Both these suits are still pending in the HC.’