6 Parsi families asked to leave community housing

Six families from a building at Goregaon, which is owned by a Parsi community trust, have challenged an eviction summon issued against them.

The development comes after five families from the Seth Cowasji Dhunjishaw Baug were asked to vacate their houses last year. One-and-a-half month ago, similar notice was served to six more families; who then challenged the notice. The families alleged they were asked to vacate because the income of the concerned families makes them ineligible for subsidised community housing.

According to the notice, a copy of which is with HT, the landlord has asked for eviction under section 24 of Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999. As per the provision of the Act, after the expiration of license if the person occupying the premises fails to vacate it, then the licensor can start eviction proceedings.

“The application and allotment of flats at this society have been similar to that of Parsi trust colonies. We were allotted flats because we do not have any other place to live in the city, and at that time our income was below the specified limit. Now, the trustees claim because we earn more than the specified limit, we should find an alternate place to take on rent so that they can allot our flats to others in need,” said a resident of the baug.

The resident added that four other families have also been asked to give consent to vacate the premises after two years, while around eight houses in the society are currently vacant. The building can house 32 families.

Yazdi Desai, chairman of Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) — caretaker of Parsi properties in the city, said the trust has several societies across the city, where residents are allotted flats on a leave and license basis, which are renewed every four to five years.

“As a trust, one has to provide for needy members of the community, what the trustees of this baug are doing is not justified. Currently, even if they apply to BPP, they would have to wait for several years for a house to be allotted to them,” said Desai.

The trustees of Seth Cowasji Dhunjishaw Baug were unavailable for comments.

BPP currently owns more than 5,500 flats in the city, and has a waiting list of around 750, wherein the needy members of the community are allotted flats. Around 10 years ago, the waiting list had 1,200 names.

The matter has been listed for orders at Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) court in the third week of January.

Published on Hindustan Times