VADODARA: Relief over the receipt of cheques towards rent proved to be short-lived for many beneficiaries of the Sanjaynagar housing scheme. The cheques for rent given by the developer of the housing scheme bounced for the want of funds sparking a major controversy.

Recently, the beneficiaries of the project have alleged that one of the partners in the project had parted ways with the joint venture. However, they argue that this has not been brought on paper to avoid complications. “The partner has quit over a year back,” said Seema Rathod an activist and a resident of the area.

Rathod added that rent of about five months was pending to the beneficiaries and the process to disburse this began in June after an agitation. She added that 131 of the cheques issued by the developer bounced. “This came to light after Rakshabandhan. There are 30 beneficiaries who are yet to get rent as they were left out because the process of distribution of cheques was stopped early,” said Rathod.

Families ousted from Sanjaynagar in Warasiya were to be given houses in a housing scheme at the same site coming up as a public-private partnership under the Pradhan Mantri Aavas Yojana (PMAY). The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) demolished 1,841 dwellings at the site in July 2017 and those who lost their homes were to be paid a rent of Rs 2,000 per month.

As many as 2,637 houses will be constructed at the site for urban poor. The settlement was notified as a slum by the committee formed under the PMAY and tendering was done. After the demolition, the developer, who had bagged the contract, started paying rent to the beneficiaries whose houses were razed.

However, a major row was raked up regarding the change of stakes of partners in the joint venture (JV) that had taken up the project. The lead partner at the time of bidding reduced his stake from 51% to 15% even as the stake of others rose to 85% from a minority stake of 49%. Also, there were issues regarding land owned by the state government for an agriculture training centre for beggars and it was not transferred to the VMC for a long time after the razing drive.



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