Cabinet decides to amend BMC Act, move set to favour tenants

Article published by Asian Age on April, 12 2016. Link to source.

The Maharashtra Cabinet on Monday took a decision to amend the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Act, 1888 and introduce Section 199A, wherein tenants residing in dilapidated buildings will have the right to construct the building to the extent of their own area. With this amendment, tenants will get the right to construct their own area if the building is pulled down by the BMC.

Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Parag Alavani from Vile Parle constituency had raised a Private Member Bill last year over the same issue in the Lower House. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had assured the House such amendments would be made in the BMC Act.

Mr Alavani, while speaking with mediapersons said, in cases where the landlord tries to evict a tenant, the provisions of Maharashtra Rent Control Act would protect the tenants. However, due to lack of similar provisions in the BMC Act, tenants were made homeless once their building was pulled down by the BMC.

“With this amendment, tenants will get right to construct his own area if the building is pulled down by the BMC. Earlier, landlords or developers used to take undue advantage of these lacunae. Now this amendment will stop the practice of landlords forcing tenants to accept their offers at gunpoint,” said Mr Alavani.

He further said, the amendment will also help in cases where owners of dilapidated buildings are not traceable and, hence, no decision regarding the building can be taken.

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