Hiranandani Developers may have to demolish some of their existing structures in order to build low-cost housing in the Powai Area Development Scheme (PADS) within their Powai township.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) had filed a report in the Bombay high court stating that nearly 1.13 lakh square metres of buildable area in the Powai township qualifies for low-cost housing.

As per the February 22 order of the HC, Hiranandani has to first construct 1,511 flats of 40 square metres and 1,593 flats of 80 square metres without amalgamating any flats before undertaking any other construction work in the township.

But according to the developer, the 1.13 lakh square metre area is not sufficient to construct 3,104 flats. Aspi Chinoy, legal counsel for Hiranandani, informed the court that they are willing to demolish some of the construction that has come up to plinth level. “There are around 8-9 buildings which have been constructed up to the plinth level. Also, there are certain plots for which only construction plans have been sanctioned. We are willing to demolish the plinth level structures and resubmit plans for the40 sq m and 80sq m flats,” said Chinoy.

A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Roshan Dalvi has asked the Hiranandanis to submit the plans for the low-cost housing project within two weeks. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been asked to consider the same expeditiously.

The high court has clarified that Hiranandani can go ahead with the construction of the low-cost housing if the BMC and the authorities concerned grant it an Intimation Of Disapproval (IOD) or a Commencement Certificate.

Submitting a report, Chinoy said that 80 buildings have been constructed completely. Commercial premises occupy 1.19 lakh sq m of the total area in the township.

Chinoy sought clarification whether they would be getting an exemption on 15% of these flats, which could be used for commercial purposes. Kiran Bagalia, advocate for the MMRDA, pointed put to the court that as per their tripartite agreement, there was no such clause.

Earlier, the HC had restrained development while hearing a public interest litigation filed by noted social activist Medha Patkar and city residents Kamlakar Satve and Rajendra Thackar. The HC has kept the PILs for hearing on June 21.

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