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Abandoned cess building in focus: MBRRB submits proposal to state to acquire 10 redevelopment projects | Mumbai News

The Mumbai Building Repairs and Reconstruction Board (MBRRB) has recently put forth a proposal to the state government for the acquisition of 10 abandoned cess building redevelopment projects from private developers. These projects were selected following the builders’ failure to complete them — with unsatisfactory responses or no response at all — to show cause notices issued earlier.

Following this, MBRRB — which operates under the Maharashtra State Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) — has presented the acquisition proposal to the state government.

“Tenants residing in these buildings have been homeless for over a decade after their old buildings were demolished,” said Arun Dongare, chief executive officer of MBRRB.

MBRRB had issued show cause notices to 67 projects, with no reply from 10 such cases and replies in remaining cases still under scrutiny. “The decision to proceed with the acquisition lies with the state government as it holds the ultimate authority,” Dongare added.

The new Act allows MBRRB to take over redevelopment of stalled projects even if they are privately owned. Once an approval is obtained from the government, tenders would be called for new developers or appointment of contractor to complete these stalled or abandoned projects, the MBRRB CEO added.

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Cessed properties are those in which tenants pay a tax to the housing authority, MBRRB, and that is used for repairing such buildings. In South Mumbai, MBRRB is the custodian of cess buildings — over 13,000 such structures.

In 2022, an amendment signed by the President of India empowered MBRRB or MHADA to acquire disputed redevelopment projects involving cess buildings owned by private landlords, who fail to conduct the redevelopment within a specified time period. Prior to this, owners had complete rights of land on which cess buildings were located and MHADA only had the authority for approving repairs and redevelopment.

MBRRB, which is also responsible for cess buildings now, has issued notices to the owners of severely dilapidated old cess buildings — in extremely dangerous conditions. The occupants of these buildings are required to submit redevelopment proposals, failing which, MBRRB would take over redevelopment of these structures.

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