Suggest repair cost share for old building owners, tenants: HC

The Bombay high court on Tuesday directed the Mhada to suggest a formula for sharing cost of repairs to tenants and owners of old dilapidated buildings in Mumbai.

A division bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai heard a petition by two residents of one of five ground-plus-two-storey buildings owned by the H B Wadia Fire Temple Charity Fund. The petitioners said the landlord-Trust and (Mhada) have cited financial inability. The total expenditure estimated by the court appointed architect is around Rs 75 lakh.

Subsequently, residents’ advocate Raju Moray and the Trust’s advocate Khushroom Davierwalla told the court that their clients are ready to share one-third cost of repairs. Mhada’s advocate said it could contribute only Rs 22 lakh. The judges directed the Trust to take approval for reimbursement from Mhada before appointing a contractor and begin work under a structural engineer. The petitioners said they had also requested the Bombay Parsi Punchayet to look into the matter as the residents are Parsis.

Disposing of the petition, the judges said there are several old buildings in Mumbai which are occupied by tenants and are likely to collapse if not repaired. “We feel that the Mhada should also make such suggestion where it is not able to bear the cost of repairs. The costs can be shared and the building can be repaired,” they concluded.

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