The Bombay High Court on Monday dismissed a petition challenging the Bhendi Bazaar cluster redevelopment scheme, saying that tenants feared eviction by the underworld without being provided alternative accommodation.
The public interest litigation (PIL) filed by social activist Priya Rathod, who is a resident of Bhendi Bazaar, also sought a CBI probe into the matter.
A division bench of judges NH Patil and PN Deshmukh said the petitioner had not mentioned any specific evidence to back the allegation and if such information was available she could approach the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) which is overseeing the scheme in South Mumbai.
Satish Maneshinde, counsel for the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) which is undertaking the project, said it had followed all procedures and got all necessary permissions. He also said that the eviction notices were issued by the urban development department and some of the buildings had already been demolished.
The counsel for Mhada stated that if the petitioner had any particular grievance she could approach the Mumbai Building Repairs and Reconstruction Board. The CBI counsel argued that no case was made out in the petition for it to initiate a probe.
The Bhendi Bazaar redevelopment scheme involves nine clusters on an area of 16.5 acres; each of these will have two or three towers.
Of the 17 buildings planned, 12 will be reserved for about 20,000 tenants. The project will be completed in phases by 2020 at an estimated cost of Rs3,000 crore.