Two Builders move Bombay HC to Realign Bullet train route

The petitioners have spent approximately Rs 33.51 crore on the land cost, obtaining various permissions, architect’s fee and cost of construction.

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Mumbai–Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor
Mumbai–Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor

MUMBAI (Metro Rail News): Two builders from Vasai have moved the Bombay High Court against the alignment of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project as it will require portions of their land and thus affect an under-construction 13-story residential tower project at Vasai.

The builders informed the court that 95 percent of construction is completed and around 50 flats have been sold. The petitioners, Kalash Devcon LLP, and Chetna Land Developer are independent partnership firms in the residential project and are seeking to change the alignment of the 1.1 lakh crore bullet train project.

Last week, senior counsel M M Vashi mentioned the petition before a division bench of Justice R M Borde and Justice N J Jamadar. It is likely to be heard next week.

Currently, petitioners are seeking directions to the Collector and the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) not to take up further steps for implementing the bullet train project unless they follow the Provisions of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

The petition mentation that one of the respondents to the petitions, Deepak Shah owns 10,260 sqm of land at Gokhivare village, Vasai taluka. Shah permitted Chetna Land Developer to construct a 13-story residential building with 177 flats on stilts on the land for a consideration of Rs 11.51 crore. The firm further granted development rights to Kalash Devcon LLP to construct the residential building by giving a security deposit of Rs 3 crore and 45 percent flats, through an agreement in August 2014.

Shah was granted permission by Vasai Virar City Municipal Corporation in 2014 to construct the building. Kalash Devcon LLP constructed the building and sold 50 flats.

The petition said if they did not give possession to these flat buyers, the petitioners will be hauled up for violating the provisions of the Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act and the Real Estate Regulatory Authority Act.

That most of the buyers belong to middle-class families. They have obtained personal loans from banks/financial institutions/companies and are paying interest on the loans. Therefore, not only the petitioners but after the buyers will be adversely affected,” the petition adds.

In March 2018, the petitioners read an advertisement in a local newspaper that the Collector of Thane is planning to acquire private land by negotiation for the bullet train project. The land of about 9,450 sqm was also mentioned in the public notice, which is the area of the entire building. The petitioners have told the court that if a part of the residential tower is demolished, the whole residential building will collapse.

The petitioners further stated that they received an email in April 2018 from the assistant project manager of the NHSRCL informing them that their land is proposed to be acquired and details and clarity will be available only after a joint measurement survey is carried out.

After receiving the email, the petitioners stopped construction work. On June 12, 2018, officials from the Collector’s office and NHSRCL conducted a joint measurement survey and fixed the alignment, which would affect existing building.

The petitioners also sent a letter to the Collector and NHSRCL stating that the flat buyers are pressurising them to complete construction as there is no “stop-work” notice by any competent authority. The petition further adds that as 95 per cent of the work is completed and as the construction has come to a standstill, they made a representation to NHSRCL pointing out the “hardship caused”. The petitioners have spent approximately Rs 33.51 crore on the land cost, obtaining various permissions, architect’s fee and cost of construction.

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