Sandeep Ashar for DNA

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 1:05 IST

Mumbai: Residents of the high-profile Kingston Cooperative Housing Society in Powai will have to cough up almost Rs31 lakh within a week
if they want to stop their homes from being auctioned.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which was to auction 166 flats on Tuesday for property and sewerage tax dues amounting to Rs1.24crore, has given the society a week’s time to save their houses. It wants the society to furnish at least 25% of the arrears by this time.

Marathi director Kedar Shinde, actors Adesh Bandekar and Sanjay Narvekar, state assembly speaker Babasaheb Kupekar and hockey legend Dhanraj Pillai, are among those who have been allotted flats at the society on government quota. Kingston CHS has been built by the Hiranandani group. "The auction was called off on the request of society residents. But they must make the part payment before March 31," a senior official with the assessor and collector department said.

Ashok Shinde, the secretary of Kingston CHS, said the society had given Rs4.94 lakh as first instalment on Tuesday. And the remaining amount will be shared among the members and paid within a week. He, however, said the society owed the BMC Rs14lakh as dues. The remaining amount was payable by the builder.

"The society was formed in 2004. Till this time, the members paid Rs75 lakh to the builder by way of maintenance charges. He defaulted and now we are being penalised," Shinde said.

Niranjan Hiranandani, the managing director of Hiranandani Constructions, termed the charge baseless. He said the builder had cleared all the dues till 2001, when occupation certificates were issued.

In 2003, the BMC had disconnected the water connection to Kingston Cooperative Housing Society because of non-payment of dues.

Bandekar said the residents would meet on Tuesday evening to discuss the matter