The Palm Towers in Nerul will not be demolished for now. In its last hearing the High Court has directed the state government to look into a plea submitted by residents of Palm Towers and has stayed the decision of the town planning to demolish the tower. When we spoke to shop owners at Palm Towers, their situation makes one see that the Palm Towers is narrating a must-learn lesson for all buyers.
Every possible violation in book and the worst fears of every buyer has become a reality at Nerul’s Palm Towers. The two 14 storeyed towers went into one of the worst disputes registered in the city so far and was declared unauthorized by the NMMC’s Town Planning Office post a court order to investigate the same. In its report, the Town Planning Office informed the court that as much as 17, 000 sq ft is FSI theft in the two towers, which has to be razed down. On September 7, the Town Planning Office sent a notice to residents to demolish the illegal construction on their own within a month or else NMMC would be forced to do it.
As soon as the notice reached the residence owners, panicky residents rushed to High court with pleas of injustice asking for staying the demolition order of the Town Planning Office. These residents are up in arms against the shop owners in the tower calling their shops as being completely illegal and demanding that they should be demolished. Hearing their appeal, the High Court directed the state government to expedite the hearing of this matter and decide it within six weeks. Until the government takes a decision, that the demolition notice issued by the ADTPO will be stayed and that no fresh occupancy will be issued. At Palm Towers, shop owners share their horrifying plight – from how they were fooled into buying the shops from the builder and how they are facing losses due to investment in the disputed property.
All attempts to contact the residence owners committee Chairman K D Hudaodekar and their lawyer Trupti Shetty proved futile. The only relief to shop owners is that the Additional Director of Town Planning Sanjay Banait has rejected the plea of residents to demolish the shops. Sanjay Banait has said that the shops as structures are legal. However, this relief is not the end of their problems. With EMIs eating into their savings each month, the threat of massive demolition looming large on Palm Towers, no occupancy certificate to the tower yet – there is a long road of battles, struggles and challenges for all those who have invested in the disputed Palm Towers. While the million-dollar question is “Why is no one penalizing the builder for the mess and the officials of both CIDCO and NMMC for dereliction of duty?”, what is more important is the lesson that Palm Towers is narrating to all buyers. With bureau inputs, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.