Archive for September, 2013

Maharashtra ownership flats act and Co-op housing society-related questions and answers

* Encroachment of common areas by members using them for storage
Our Building is having 21 flats, comprising of seven floors. Though the builder has registered the society, but he has not handed over the building formally to the society and since most of the members are working at different places, they have no time to follow-up the matter with the builders. On two floors, some of the owners have occupied the common area of electric duct and fire duct and using the same as store. We received the notice from the Fire Department to clear the area, but they have not responded. Since our society is too small and the members have no time to attend the meetings, what can the society legally do in the matter?

In terms of Section 11 of the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act, 1963, a promoter/developer has to convey his right, title and interest in the land and building and to execute all the necessary documents and hand over the same to the society and the non-compliance amounts to a criminal offence. No common areas etc. can be encroached upon by any member of the society and the electric duct and fire duct can never be put to any such use of storage etc. by any member on any floor of the building of the society.
The society is fully empowered under the bye-laws to take action against such persons, which may include even the expulsion of the membership from the society.
In case of failure of the society to act, the matter may be taken up with Dy. Registrar of Co-op. societies. In addition, anti-encroachment squad of the Municipal Corporation may be approached to have these ducts cleared of any such encroachment.
The non-compliance of the notice of Fire Department may create problems to the office bearers of the Society.

* Flat sellers refuse to sign society transfer related documents
I have purchased a flat in a society in Malad (West) from the owners, who are related as brother and sister. The Agreement has been registered and they have given me the share certificate and 50% of the transfer fee Rs.12,500, but they have refused to sign the various forms etc. about the resignation from the membership of the society and my enrolment as the member, which are essential according to society. In the registered agreement executed by the vendors in our favour, there is a clause as, “vendor is responsible for the society membership to be transferred in the name of the buyer”. I have sent a legal notice, but they have not responded. Whether there is any alternate remedy, since I do not want to pursue legally, as the vendors are 80 years old and they hail from Goa, which is my native place, besides time and money involved in legal proceedings.

The refusal of the vendors is not legally tenable and justified and they have to comply with the requirements as per the bye-laws of the society. For this compliance, their personal presence is not required at Mumbai and even if it is so, they may execute a power of attorney in favour of their trusted person for this purpose. If still they are adamant, you may move a suitable petition in the court of competent jurisdiction against them for the compliance of the terms and conditions of the agreement for sale, as you have already served a legal notice on them.

* Office bearers illegally holding and selling society parking space
Our building was completed around the year 2004 and the society was formed in March 2006. We have 11 flats with 5 stilt parking and 6 open parking. But the chair person of the society is holding two stilt parking and two open parking, out of which she has already sold one to a member at premium. The treasurer is holding two stilt parking and one open parking. According to them, they have purchased the same from the builders, but they are unable to show any documents. We enquired from the Secretary about any such document, but no reply has been received from her. We reported the matter to the Dy. Registrar of the Societies, but it is a lengthy affair. Please let us know if we can take any other recourse or approach any other department to bring out the truth and take back the illegally occupied stilt and parking slots; so that the same may be allotted to the needy members. We are afraid that as the 3-4 members control the committee, they may sell their flat with the parking to incoming members. Please advise.

No member, including the chair-person or any other office bearer of the society, can hold parking slots contrary to the provisions of bye-laws and no one can sell the same. The society has to follow the bye-laws for the allotment of parking slots (Refer to model bye-law No.78 to 85). In case of the failure of the Dy. Registrar to look into your grievance in a reasonable time, you may approach the Minister of Co-operation at Mantralaya to issue suitable directives to the Dy. Registrar to expedite his enquiry and decision in the matter. Any incoming member purchasing the parking slots shall be doing so at his/her own risk, as such a sale is not binding on the society. The members of the society are also empowered under the bye-laws to have free of cost the inspection of the documents, registers, books, minutes etc. and to obtain the copies of the documents, as per the provisions of Section 32 of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act. You may, therefore, exercise your right and ascertain the veracity of the statements of the chair-person and treasurer from the records of the society.

* Unable to sell A flat without the completion and occupancy certificate
I stay in a building in a registered society at Mira Road but the society does not have a completion certificate as well as the occupancy certificate. I am finding it difficult to sell my flat. Please let me know what is the procedure for obtaining the same, and what is the implication on the buyer, if these documents are not available and how the society has been registered without the CC/OC?

In terms of the provisions of Section 10 of the Maharashtra Ownership Flat Act 1963, as soon as a minimum number of persons required to form a cooperative society has taken flats, the promoter has to take the steps for the registration of the cooperative society and if he fails, the competent authority may upon receiving the application from the persons, who have taken the flats from the promoter, may direct the Dy. Registrar or Asstt. Registrar to register the society. A group of eligible persons may also form and register a cooperative housing society and acquire land to construct flats. Therefore, a society may be registered even where the construction of the building is not complete and occupancy certificate has not been issued. Such certificates have to be obtained on the completion of the construction from the local authority. The building may be occupied only after the receipt of the occupancy certificate and these documents are necessary to ensure that there is no violation of the FSI by the promoter or the builder. During the process of due diligence, a buyer would always like to satisfy that the flat, proposed to be purchased by him, is not an unauthorised construction.

* Flat purchased with joint names but gift deed transfers to single person
My father purchased a flat in my name in the year 2001 and I sold it in August 2008. I purchased another flat in the joint names with my wife, my name being first and her second. In February 2010, I got the gift deed duly stamped and share certificate transferred exclusively in my name. My question is that since the gift deed is not registered, can I claim absolute ownership rights of the flat?

In terms of the provisions of Section 17(a) Indian Registration Act, a gift deed has to be, necessarily, registered and the transfer of the share certificate, exclusively, in your name by the society without having the duly registered gift deed is not valid. A document which requires, compulsory, registration and if it is not registered, it cannot be taken into evidence in any proceedings. Therefore, you cannot claim full ownership rights of the flat on the basis of unregistered gift deed, as and when such a need arises.

* Transfer of inherited flat title in a society undergoing redevelopment
My father was staying with me and my family for three years before he died. Prior to that, he was staying with a woman and her illegitimate son and his wife and when the son came to know, he left that house after handing it over to the society for redevelopment. My father was the sole owner of the flat and before his death he had nominated me for the said flat and made a will in respect of the flat in my name. I have obtained the probate of the will and the case is before the cooperative court about my claim on the flat, as the society is not handing over me the keys of the flat. Whether anyone can stop me from getting possession after the will is probated?

If a person has left a will in respect of his self-acquired property in favour of his son, which has been duly probated, in addition to the nomination in the records of the society, the son will be entitled to inherit the flat after the death of his father and society cannot refuse to hand over the keys of the flat to you. But since the matter is now before the cooperative court, you may wait for the final decision in the matter.

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Questions about maharashtra co-operative housing society act

CAN A SOCIETY CHARGE COMPOUND INTEREST?
I am a member of Kailash Udyan CHS Ltd., which has been charging compound
interest @ 21% p.a. for the delayed payment of society charges.
When I enquired, they informed that it has been passed in the AGM. Can a society charge compound interest?

———- In terms of provisions of the model bye-laws, society can charge only
simple interest on the delayed payment, subject to a ceiling of 21% p. a.
within which limit the AGM may decide the rate, but in no case compound
interest can be charged.

WHY ARE NOMINEES NOT TREATED AS OWNERS?
The Bombay High Court has ruled in favour of a nominee in case of a share
demat account so why this should not hold good for the society share. In actual life the rights are transferred to the nominee in most of the CHS flats
and in case of will, many people do not obtain the probate and it is also a very
difficult task. Why a nominee should not be treated as a beneficial owner?

———– There is a provision of nomination in various types of moveable and immoveable properties, such as life insurance policy, employees provident fund, bank deposits, national saving certificates, company shares, cooperative societies in Maharashtra, mutual funds etc. and the true nature and scope of a nomination is governed by the provisions of the statutes governing these properties. It is a well settled law in case of a life insurance policy that a nominee is merely a trustee or agent on behalf of the legal heirs of the deceased. Similarly it has been held that in case of cooperative societies in Maharashtra, a nomination under Section 30 of the MCS Act is not a special rule of succession altering the mode of succession laid down under the personal law of the deceased. In case of EPF, NSC, bank deposits, different views have been taken in judicial pronouncements, but the majority view is that the nominee is not the beneficial owner. In the case of demat share account, the Bombay High Court has held in the case of Harsha N. Kokate that the nominee becomes entitled to all the rights in the shares to the exclusion of all other persons in view of the language of the provision of Section 109 of the Companies Act. If a nominee has to be made a beneficial owner of the property of the deceased, suitable provision will be required to be made in the Indian Succession Act, Hindu Succession Act and the personnel laws of the other communities and till then, the present position will hold good.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MAINTENANCE DISPUTES?
I have given my flat on leave and license basis. The agreement is stamped and registered for a period of 3 years. I am paying the non-occupancy charges at the prescribed rate to the society. If there is a dispute with the licensee about reimbursement of maintenance charges payable to the society, please advise who has to bear the same.

—– It will depend on the terms and conditions agreed upon between both the parties and as recorded in the agreement. If the Agreement is silent on the point, the issue may become debatable. The licensee may claim that the monthly license fee has been agreed upon as inclusive of the same. The other view is that the maintenance charges consists mainly of electricity charges, water charges, wages for the sweeper, the employees of the society, watchmen etc. When a flat has been given by the owner on leave and license basis, these services are being utilized and availed of by the person actually residing in the flat i.e. the licensee and, therefore, all these charges should normally be paid by the licensee. Where these charges include property tax, the same will be required to be paid by the owner of the flat. Therefore, the Leave & License Agreement needs to be drafted carefully to make the intentions of the parties crystal clear to avoid such ambiguity.

CAN A BANK REFUSE TO TAKE OVER AN EXISTING LOAN?

I own a flat jointly with another person B and we had constructed two floors of which ground floor belonged to me and first floor to B. Since this plot is from the category of the government land (from the category of B- 1), we both had paid the required charges to Collector. I have taken a loan of Rs.40,00,000 from HSBC for my flat on the ground floor. Now we both have entered into a development agreement with a builder to demolish the existing construction and to construct a 17 storey building. I applied to a nationalized bank for takeover of the loan of HSBC, but the bank has refused for the same, though I am eligible for more than outstanding loan. Is the stand of the bank correct?

 

——– The stand of the nationalized bank is absolutely legally correct and justified. How they can take over this loan of HSBC, when the security created in favour of HSBC does not exist as on today and there will be no security for the loan with the said nationalized bank. On the contrary HSBC should initiate immediate steps for the recovery of its dues from you and proceed against the builder who demolished the portion of the building which was already mortgaged to it. Similar cases are happening in Mumbai and it seems to be a matter of system failure inasmuch as while entering into a development agreement, neither the flat owners who have already mortgaged their existing flats disclose this fact to the builders nor the society, wherever registered and issued the mortgage NOC, disclose this fact to the builders nor the municipal corporation and other authorities enquire about any such existing charge on the building or any portion thereof, before issuing the necessary approvals. In fact the banks and housing finance companies may face serious problem in case of default for the recovery of its dues in such cases. This issue was brought to the notice of RBI, NHB, IBA but it is unfortunate part of our democratic system that unless there is some pressure, nothing moves and preventive measures are not taken well in time.

CAN A SOCIETY ARBITRARILY FIX POOJA CONTRIBUTION?

I am a member of Prabhat Tower CHS, Vasai Road. In the month of January, managing committee displayed a notice asking Pooja Contribution @ Rs.250 per flat without the consent of the members of the society and as this was not acceptable to me as I own two flats having only three members and I was required to pay Rs.500. When I asked the managing committee why these charges have been included in the bills, they simply replied that it is compulsory to pay whether you are available or not for pooja function, including the meals. I gave a letter about the non-payment of these charges and requested the managing committee to amend the bills, but it did not agree and have shown the same in the bills for the month of March and April and issued instruction to pay to avoid any legal action. Is it necessary to pay such charges and whether they can include the same in the regular maintenance bill? After the said controversy I have stopped paying repair charges and the maintenance bills. What will be the consequences of non-payment?

——– Any collection towards religious ceremonies, including pooja with meals etc., cannot be made compulsory by the managing committee or even the general body meeting and the society cannot adopt coercive measures to collect the same, as such a decision is not supported by the byelaws or the Act or the Rules. In case of non-payment of these charges, society cannot take any legal action against you. However, as a matter of retaliation, you should also not stop the payment of the maintenance bills and repair fund decided by the society as per the bye-laws and in case of non-payment, the society may recover the same with interest and proceed against you as per the bye-laws. No member can also take the stand that there is no need of any repair to the outer elevation of his apartment, as the society is under obligation to maintain the building of the society including its elevation etc.

CAN BANKS DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN LOAN APPLICANTS?
I have entered into an Agreement for Sale to purchase a flat with a Widow, who has executed the agreement for self and as the natural guardian of her minor son and applied for a housing loan to a nationalized bank, which is insisting for the succession/ heirship certificate and the permission of the court for the sale of the share of the minor, whereas one of my friends has entered into a similar transaction with a Karta of a HUF, which consist of minor also, but his banker has disbursed the loan. Why this discrimination?

——— For the purchase of flat in the name of a deceased, succession or heirship certificate by his or her legal heirs is necessary and where one of the legal heirs happens to be a minor, court permission for the sale of the share of the minor is necessary as per the provisions of law, because a natural guardian, may be either father or in his absence, mother is not legally entitled to sell, transfer or mortgage the share of a minor in the property. However in case of a HUF, situation is different in the sense that a Karta of HUF can sell, assign or mortgage the property of the HUF, which may consist of a minor, either for legal necessity or for the benefit of the estate. Thus a Karta of HUF enjoys much more powers than a natural guardian, as far as the sale, transfer, mortgage of a property or a share therein of a minor is concerned.

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In Maharashtra Co-operatve housing society related questions and answers MOFA 1963 maintenance

‘Terrace waterproofing costs should be equally divided’

WHO BEARS THE COST FOR WRONG DECISIONS?

I am a senior citizen residing in the society having two buildings, where the chairman, secretary and the members of the committee have taken a decision to construct a toilet for the shop owners in the garden of the building, in spite of the fact that the developer had already constructed the toilet for the shop owners, which they have decided to demolish to have the society’s office. The members of one building of the society have objected in writing because of the security and other factors. But they did not bother and constructed it. Ultimately, the members complained to BMC, which demolished the said toilet, as it was illegally constructed. In such a case, who should bear the construction cost of the demolished toilet, as the money was spent from the society’s funds.

In case any action of the managing committee or any of the office bearers is contrary to the provisions of the bye-laws or the Act or Rules and without the required approval of the authorities concerned, the office bearer or the committee members associated with such a decision shall be responsible and liable for the same. The issue may be taken up with the Dy. Registrar of the Societies for suitable action against the erring office bearers or the members of the committee for causing financial loss to the society.

CAN THE SOCIETY WITHhOLD MY SHARE CERTIFICATE?

I have a flat in a society, which has been registered only 8 months ago without the cooperation of the builders. The builder gave assurance to form society within 3 months and asked to pay the maintenance till the registration of the society. Since he did not form and register the society, I stopped the payment of maintenance to him. Now the society is registered since last 8 months and the managing committee is asking me to pay the maintenance charges for the last 15 months, which were due to the builders and they have issued me a bill for all the outstanding in the first month itself. I would like to know whether the society can ask for the maintenance charges, which were due to the builders and whether the society considers me a defaulter even though I am paying the maintenance every month regularly after the registration of the society. Society has told me that they would not issue the share certificate, unless the dues are cleared. Can they hold my share certificate?

The maintenance charges have to be paid to the builders till the formation and registration of the society as per the terms and conditions of the Agreement for Sale (Refer to Section 12 of MOFA 1963). But the builder has to maintain a separate account of all these collections and shall hold the said collection as a trustee and disburse the money only for the purpose it was collected and on demand is bound to make full and true disclosure of all the transactions in this account (please refer Section 5 & 6 of MOFA 1963). The society cannot force you to make the payment of maintenance charges prior to the date of its registration and since you have been paying the society charges from the date of its registration regularly, the society has no right to with-hold your share certificate. You may approach the Dy. Registrar of the Societies to issue necessary directions to the society.

SHOULD WATERPROOFING CHARGES BE LEVIED AS PER THE AREA OF EACH FLAT?

I am a member of a cooperative society in Navi Mumbai and our society has decided to cover the full terrace before the rainy season to avoid leakage problem. Due to insufficient funds, committee has decided that each member should contribute Rs.10,000 within 3 months for this purpose. But some of the members have argued that the contribution should not be equally divided, but it should be based on the area of the flat i.e. lower amount for 1 RK flat and higher amount for 1 and 2 BHK flats and so on. Since the terrace is common for all I think it should be equally divided and the decision of the committee is justified. Please advise whether such charges should be equally divided or based on the area of the flat.

The terrace of the building of the society is common to all the members and it is the property of the society and every member has to contribute the expenses equally but before taking the steps to cover the terrace, the prior approval of NMMC should be obtained because it permits only temporary cover only in the rainy season. In the absence of the permission from the NMMC to cover the full terrace permanently, there could be problem to the society as it may demolish it, being unauthorized. Further instead of covering the full terrace at such a huge cost, it would be advisable for the society to consult some architect/engineer to suggest some other alternative method to solve the leakage problem.

CAN SOCIETY LEVy PENALTY FOR MEETING ABSENTEEISM?

In the AGM of our society most of the members demand to impose penalty on the members who do not attend the AGM. Is it possible to charge penalty for the absenteeism of such members?

There is no such provision in the bye-laws to impose penalty on the members who do not attend the AGM, though normally it is expected that all the members of the society should attend the AGM and contribute to the discussions for deciding issues as per the agenda. However, the decisions of the AGM will be perfectly legal, if there is proper quorum in the AGM and the decisions are not contrary to the bye-laws, Act or Rules.

CAN I CLAIM REPAIRS EXPENSES INCURRED FROM SOCIETY?

I have purchased a flat jointly with my wife in the year 2003. At that time the society had given NOC for the transfer of the flat. But when I approached the society for transfer, secretary informed us that repairing contribution for the flat is outstanding, so we must first clear those dues. We approached the seller and he paid the dues and we got the flat transferred in our name. In our society except transfer case members, nobody has paid repairing amount. Now a period of 7 years has passed and neither repair work has been taken up by the society nor has any other member paid their contribution. The new committee has been formed and I am one of the committee members. The new members are demanding their money back. I have spent out of my own pocket for the replacement of the water pipeline because of some leakage from outside, as the managing committee was not ready for repairing the same on the ground that other members were also facing the same problem. Shall I be deemed to have contributed these expenses towards repairing fund?

As per the bye laws society is under the obligation to maintain the building of the society in a proper condition and when it has been collecting the contribution for repairs etc. and if the building needs the repairs etc., it has to take up the repairs of the building and collect the amount from the other members. The society has enough power in the bye laws for recovering the amount due from the members. When the members are facing water shortage due to leakage in outer water pipe lines the society has to attend to it and stop this wastage forthwith. If a member spends the money on the repair out of his own, he cannot claim the said amount towards the repair fund payable by him to the society. In case the society is not tackling the problems of leakage, repairs etc., the members may approach the Dy. Registrar of the Societies to issue necessary directions to the society.

There is no Termination clause in the original redevelopment agreement with the developer. We would like to cancel the agreement and go for redevelopment by self only. Please advise us.

Even if there is no termination clause mentioned in the agreement, the society who has granted the redevelopment finds any breaches committed by the developer can give a legal notice for termination and by adopting the due process of law, the development agreement may be cancelled. We need to study the various grievances the society has with the developer, up to what stage the developer has carried out the work, etc., as it makes a lot of difference. Since it is MIG Mhada property, you will be able to get 2.5 FSI. In case, you are able to get Tit Bit Plot of 6000 sq. ft., you can construct 2.5 FSI of Tit Bit Land over and above your existing plot FSI of 2.5 FSI. This means nearly 15000 sq. ft. can be constructed by you in addition to your plot potential. Of course, you have to pay the premium for purchase of tit bit land. There is no bar for self redevelopment. Just because, you have realised the benefit accruing in due course cannot be the reason for termination of development agreement. You have to establish that the developer has breached many of the conditions, which has compelled the society to go for self redevelopment and terminate the development agreement.

I am residing in a MHADA building in Andheri and our society has gone under redevelopment. All the members of our society have agreed for redevelopment and the builder was elected through tender process. We have selected him willingly. All the society members have signed the agreement in September 2010 and the builder has also given the first cheque to all the members in the same month. He informed us that the project will start after 2 months but verbally. Till date the builder has not formally intimated us to leave the flats and the date of vacating the flats. He has informed us that due to change in the government leadership and executives they are not passing any files for redevelopment so it will take more time than estimated. What is the exact scenario and what steps should we take? What will be our tax liability as we have received first cheque in September and the project has not got approved yet? In case if there is rejection of the project then we have to give the money back to the builder and the tax paid can be on our head, so what should we do?

Since September, 2010 MHADA authorities have not been clearing the files as they are contemplating to get the built up area from the developer instead of collecting premium for grant of 2.5 FSI during redevelopment. MHADA has approved to take the built up area against the additional FSI granted. This proposal is pending with the Government officials for their approval. Till the same is approved or rejected, the MHADA authorities are not ready to release 2.5 FSI and this has really created bottleneck. The stand of the developer is correct due to changes in the head of the department and expected changes in certain polices, the plans are not being taken up by the authorities for approval. Since you have not vacated the flat, the rent received from the developer may be treated as advance received and in such cases, you need not pay the income tax on such deposits or advance received.

There was an article that mentions that a society cannot appoint a builder for redevelopment until society conveyance is not done. Our society has passed by 80% majority that our society will be redeveloped. Our society has not done the process of conveyance. Our society intends to do the conveyance and the redevelopment hence by the same builder. What can be done under the society rules to prevent the society from taking such an action? Since the resolution is passed by 80% majority, will that be an issue enforcing the rules? What legal actions can be taken? Which is the circular that we may refer to and where can one get it?

Normally it is advised by the legal experts, that unless and until the society acquires the right, title and interest in the property, the society should not enter into an agreement to create another party interest in the society property. However, we have noticed that practically due to the various complications, cost and expenses involved in getting the conveyance, societies do proceed to appoint a developer and authorise the developer to incur the cost, expenses including the required stamp duty, registration, etc. to procure the conveyance. In such cases, the member may loose marginally due to increase in the property price and redevelopment may not happen till the proper conveyance is obtained. Sometimes, if the existing builder/ land owner initiates any legal proceedings, till such legal cases are decided your builder will not be able to take up the redevelopment. Therefore, if proper agreement with proper timeline and increase in corpus in relation to Ready-Reckoner rates are mentioned in the MOU or Redevelopment agreement, even before obtaining the conveyance, you may appoint a developer and authorise him to complete all legal formalities before commencing the redevelopment.
In case as a member you want to stop such process, you may have to proceed in the co-operative court challenging the resolution passed by the society. Ultimately society is for the members and by the members. If the majority have taken a decision to undertake redevelopment in certain methodology, the minority will not have much say in the matter. The government circular dated 3.1.2009 has stated that the Project Management Consultant should verify the various documents including the conveyance of land and building in favour of the society. Bye-laws No.5 says the purpose of registration of the society is to get the conveyance and then maintain the property.

I have purchased a residential flat at Naigaon East. On the booking date flat was not in existence as the builder is only now constructing that on the land and still it’s under construction. Whether I will be able to get the flat and also the loan required to pay the balance amount?

The developer is permitted to book the flat on receipt of necessary permission. As per your statement, the builder has started the construction which means, he has obtained all the required permission. Once the building is completed you will be given the possession of the flat. Further, you will be able to get the housing loan on under construction flats as per the completion of the work.

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In Co-operative housing society-related queries can answered through bye laws

IS PREMIUM APPLICABLE ON TRANSFER TO FAMILY MEMBER?
The first model bye-laws were issued by the authorities in the year 1984, second in the year 2001 and the third in the year 2010. Before the year 1984, there were no model bye-laws as such. In all these model bye-laws it is mentioned at difference places that the condition of payment of premium or transfer fee shall not apply on transfer of share and interest of the transferor in the capital/property of the society to the member of his family. Any resolution passed by the managing committee or the general body is not valid, if it is against the provisions of bye-laws or the law. Whether you can throw some light?

For the sale of a flat by a member in a society, NOC is not required except the NOC, if any, necessary under any other law or order etc. such as in case of the land given on lease by the State Government or the Government bodies such as CIDCO. But when the transferee has to apply to the society for the membership in lieu of the transferor, he/she has to submit the documents and to comply with the formalities as mentioned in the bye laws, including the payment of premium, i.e. commonly known as transfer charges, as decided by the general body, but subject to the ceiling of Rs.25000 as per the Order of State Government. But where the transfer is in favour of the family member of the transferor, the payment of this premium will not be payable despite the decision in M.G. or AGM/SGM and any such decision will be contrary to the provisions of the bye laws and hence not valid and not enforceable.

IS the BUILDER RESPONSIBLE FOR LEAKAGE REPAIRS?
I am residing in a 3 or 4 years old building in Ambernath. There are two wings, each having 16 flats. The terrace of both the wings is leaking since last 2 years badly. In the rainy season water also enter through the outside walls in the flats of both the wings. Society many times asked the builder for appropriate repairs in both the wings, but the builder has refused. What can society do and whether the builder is responsible for such construction.

In terms of Section 7 of MOFA 1963, the builder is responsible to rectify the defects in the construction within a period of 3 years from the date of the possession. Therefore, if the period of 3 years is not passed the society may proceed against the builder as per the provisions of the said Act, which is a criminal offence also. If a period of 3 years has already passed, the society is under obligation, as per the bye laws, to take care of the proper maintenance of the building and it has to repair and tackle the leakage problem in both wings of the building.

HOW CAN I GET MY SHARE OF A JOINTLY OWNED FLAT?
The flat is in the joint names of all 3 brothers, including me, but I am not staying with them in the flat. How I can get my share in the flat, as they are not interested in the sale of the same. If it goes for redevelopment whether they can do so without my consent and if I want to nominate for my 1/3rd share to my wife, please advise, can I nominate her?

Your both brothers may purchase your 1/3rd share from you by paying 1/3rd consideration of the present market value of the flat or the amount as may be agreed upon amongst all the 3 brothers and you may execute a conveyance deed in their favour to enable them to get the flat transferred in the records of the society in the joint names of both of them. So long you are the joint owner of the flat the flat cannot go for re-development without your consent. In other words, all the owners will have to agree for the same. You may also nominate your wife for your 1/3rd share in the flat by submitting the necessary forms, as per the bye-laws of the society, and have it registered with the society in her name.

what CAN SOCIETY LEVY for NON-OCCUPANCY CHARGES?
I have given the flat on lease/rent, but the society is charging Rs.1000 per month as non-occupancy charges; whereas the monthly maintenance charges are Rs.500. Please advise whether society can collect Rs.1000 per month or only 10% of monthly maintenance charges.

The controversy about the payment of non-occupancy charges has finally been set at rest by the Bombay High Court by upholding the Government Order dated 1st August 2001, whereby no society can charge more than 10% of monthly maintenance charges, excluding property tax, insurance, sinking fund, repair fund etc. towards non-occupancy charges. In your case non-occupancy charges will work out to Rs.50 only per month.

SOCIETY REFUSES TO TRANSFER FLAT IN JOINT NAMES
I have purchased a flat in Andheri (West) in April 2010 in the joint names with my husband. Our agreement has been registered in the joint names on payment of the required stamp duty and registration charges. But the managing committee of the society is not transferring the flat in the joint names. They are prepared to transfer it only in the name of the first holder. Please advise what should I do for the transfer of the flat in the joint names?

The society cannot refuse to transfer the flat in the joint names. In such a case the first named person will be enrolled as the member of the society and the other co-owner may get himself enrolled as an associate member by complying with the necessary formalities as per the bye laws so that in the absence of the member and on his/her authority, the associate member may attend the general body meetings and vote in the election. In case of the refusal of the society, you may take up the issue with the Dy. Registrar of the Societies.

WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF FLAT NOMINATED IN MY FAVOUR?
My cousin (father’s real sister’s son) is a senior citizen and issue less divorcee. He stays alone in his ownership flat in a society. Since he was in need of money I gave him the same by way of FD in the joint names and the interest on the same is credited in his bank account. He has made a will in my favour in respect of the said flat and submitted the nomination papers along with copy of the will to the society. Do you foresee any problem which I may encounter in future for having the flat transferred in my name after the demise of my cousin.

I do not think there should be any problem if a will is properly executed by your cousin in your favour and after his demise, you will be the beneficial owner of the flat to the exclusion of other legal heirs. He can also nominate you in the records of the society but there is no need to attach a copy of the will with the nomination forms. In fact the contents of the will should not be normally disclosed. On his demise, nomination will get automatically cancelled because of the will. However you will have to obtain a probate of the will from the court of competent jurisdiction to avoid any problem in future with regard to your title to the flat.

I purchased two rooms of 120 carpet area each in June 2004. Since then I am paying the monthly rent for two rooms and two rent receipts bearing room serial number 1 and 1A are issued to me by the Landlord. I have heard that “No new tenancy created after 13.6.1996 shall be considered for calculation of FSI. The Landlord has initiated the process of inviting tenders from the developers for redevelopment of his old buildings. I would like to know whether the new clause mentioned in DCR 33(7) will affect me in getting two flats in the redeveloped building.

You will be entitled for only one room of 300 square feet on ownership basis after the redevelopment is done under Development Control Rules 33(7). The intention of the legislation is to provide houses on ownership of minimum 300 sq. ft. to tenants as per the records of Mumbai Housing Repair and Reconstruction Board as on 13.6.1996. In your case, you had only one room as on 13.6.1996 and therefore, you will be entitled for one room. If cases like you are allowed, each room may be divided into number of rooms by landlords by issuing different receipts and free housing would have been claimed by the tenants as well as the landowners. So under any circumstances you will not be entitled for two rooms.

Please explain the role, right and responsibility of chairman/ secretary/ committee members in society redevelopments. What is the m-20 bond? What precaution do the above persons have to take to carry out redevelopments smoothly? Is it necessary to appoint advocate/ solicitor/ architect? And if yes, what is the norm to judge them best for our society? Also inform what points to be cleared in advance with builder-developer.

The Chairman/ Secretary and Committee members are the front persons who discuss with the potential builders/developers and also the project Management consultants. They will be receiving the information and then explaining to the members to proceed with the redevelopment. The role, rights and responsibilities will have to be discharged by the office bearers and the committee members as per the Provisions of Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960, Rules, 1961, Bye-laws and the Government Notification issued from time to time.
M-20 is the bond in the prescribed form to be signed by all the committee members within 45 days (45 days with effect from 14.1.2011 and earlier within 15 days) of assuming the office as the committee members. The copy of the bond has to be sent to the registrar immediately on executing the same. In case such bonds are not signed, it is deemed that the committee members have vacated their office and cannot continue to hold the office. Of course, to have the actual effect, some member of the society has to complain to the registrar or the registrar on his carry out the inspection of the records on his own account and determine whether the committee has failed to execute the bond within allowed time. It is up to the registrar to declare whether the committee has vacated the office due to failure to sign the bond and appoint an administrator in place of such committee. In the said bond, each committee member states that he has assumed the office and he will carry out the functions as per the provisions of the Act, Rules and Bye-laws and if any loss is incurred by the society, the same will be made good by him individually or jointly with other committee members. Thus the committee members will be accountable and responsible at the time of undertaking the redevelopment, if they have executed such bonds. These bonds has to be given on a stamp paper of Rs.100.
The Government has issued a direction under section 79A of the MCS Act, 1960 on 3.1.2009 regarding the procedure to be adopted during the redevelopment of the housing society. The same is available on the website of DNA and also government website. You can have a hard copy from any registrar office or from the Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association office. The most important precaution to be taken is the committee should be elected as per the Election rules and they should sign m-20 bonds within 15 days of assuming the office and also send to the registrar office.
The Project Management Consultants (PMC) who are experts in the entire redevelopment process inclusive of architects, civil engineers, structural engineers, chartered accountants and the advocates. They will guide the entire process professionally and this is mandatory as per the Government Guidelines. The society may initially pay say 5% to 10% of the agreed fees and the balance being the cost of the project may be recovered from the developer by the society and then paid to the PMC in stages as per their work completion.
The society should request the Architect of PMC to prepare a feasibility report considering the tentative plan taking into account the requirements of the members ( say with 10%, 20% , 30% extra area) and the tentative offers that may be offered by the developers. The Architect of the society should be in the records of BMC at the time of submission of the plans of redevelopment by the Developers. This will have better control on the amendment of the plans that builder may tend to do once he receives the development rights.
The tender should be invited by giving public notice and the tender documents should be divided into two parts one about the profile and other details of the company and the other is financial offer. Since the tentative plans are prepared and the offers are invited based on that, the area requirement of the members should be kept fixed and the variation should be only in the corpus, rent and the shifting charges, etc. The offers should be invited from the developers whose financial status and their background is acceptable to the society. The offers from unacceptable developers should not be opened nor should it be discussed. The various points to be discussed vary from society to society. Therefore, you are required to appoint a good solicitor or advocate who will look into minor things and advise you accordingly.

Our building has gone for redevelopment (pagdi system). I have following questions for you. When should we vacate our premises i.e. after obtaning the IOD or the CC?. To ensure that our interest are protected do we need to appoint one of the three mentioned below or all 3 are required?: 1) Lawyer – to ensure legal angle 2) Architect – to ensure that the building is constructed in accordance with the plan approved by the authorities and the approved plan takes care of the tenant interest. 3) Project Management Consultant who has handled redevlopment project in the past. Should the developer pay for hiring the above professionals? How do we keep a check to ensure that the project is completed on time? What interim deadlines to be set against the final target and how do we check if they have been achieved?

The tenants should vacate the premises, only after receiving the IOD and also entering into permanent Alternative Accommodation agreement with each of the tenants by the developer. The same should be properly stamped and registered.
It is advisable to appoint the architect and lawyers to protect your interest. Alternatively, you may appoint a PMC which consists of Architects, Advocates, Chartered Accountants, Structural Engineers, etc who will understand the various concerns of the tenants and also guide the tenants for smooth process of redevelopment.
Normally, before the selection of the developer or after short listing the developers, the society or the tenants association should engage the services of the professionals and pay at least 5% or 10% of total fees or a token amount to engage the services and the balance has to be recovered from the developer and then pay to the professionals.
You should ask the developer to give you various milestones, say time limit for obtaining the IOD, then CC for plinth and number of floors and completion of slabs, interior work etc Then your PMC or the committee should follow up and find out the reasons for the delay and which milestone has been missed, etc.
Normally, all the clauses are mentioned in the Development Agreement or the consent letters to be given by the tenants. It is very important to co-operate in the redevelopment process once you understand the financials and the delivery capacity of the developer. Engage the service of professionals who will be able to give better level of confidence amongst the tenants.

I am 66 years old. Upon making a full payment, a letter of allotment was given by the Builder in the month of July, 2010 for the purchase of flat in Andheri under one of his redevelopment projects which is believed to be completed after 2 years. It was specifically stated in the letter of LOA that the Builder shall execute the Sale agreement within six months from the date of LOA. Now, nearly more than nine months have elapsed and despite my written reminders, he does not budge from his rigid attitude nor replies to my mails.

You are fully protected under Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act, 1963. Under section 4 of the MOFA, on making 20% payment, the developer is required to execute an agreement for sale and also register the same after paying the appropriate stamp duty. In section 4A of MOFA, it is further clarified that if the developer fails to register the agreement, the same is deemed to have been registered.
I advise you to visit the builder office again and again and also to the society office bearers. Find out the various details which delay registering your agreement. Possibly, the same must have been offered as a security to the society or may be mortgaged with financial institutions or may be entered into agreement with others. If possible, you should get the possession of the flat as early as possible and then initiate any legal actions required. You may have to meet an expert who would guide in the matter to take a logical conclusion of the transaction.

Our society is going for re-development by Self-Development way. We are adopting combo method i.e Re-development & Self-development (funding from PE) for re-development. We would like to ask you whether directives of Government of Maharashtra U/s 79-A dt 3.1.2009 is applicable for this type of Re-development or not?

Whether it is self redevelopment or through the developer, the government directions under section 79A are applicable. In case of Self Redevelopment, you may engage the service of Contractor or the PE who will work as semi developer by funding the project. It is very important to understand the intention of the directions. The direction u/s 79A of the MCS Act wants the society to be transparent and due process should be adopted before and during the process of redevelopment. You may improve the transparency better than the circular and become a model during the self redevelopment. Your project management consultants will guide you about the same.

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Maharashtra Co-op. Housing society bye laws and Mhada Mumbai cooperative

Answers for queries on matters of property and societies

I had been allotted a MHADA flat at Versova, Andheri (West). The occupants decided in August 2010 for the formation and the registration of the society and one of them was nominated as the Chief Promoter, with a few others to complete the paper work. I did not move into the flat as there was no water supply and, therefore, rented to a firm for a few months. I would like to know whether such an adhoc committee can impose non-occupancy charges on me for not occupying the flat and whether such a committee can ask me to pay the penalty or fine for renting the flat to the firm. The complex has covered parking slots. This committee has arbitrarily allotted the same as per their discretion without calling for the general body meeting.

 An adhoc committee has no such power to levy non-occupancy charges or impose the penalty for renting out the flat and to allot the covered parking slots as per the sweet will of the members of such a committee. These functions can be exercised only by a managing committee of a society, after it is duly registered. However since it is a MHADA flat, you may ascertain from the allotment letter, agreement for sale etc. by MHADA in your favour for the allotment of this flat, whether their permission will be necessary for letting out the flat.

A resident in our society, who died after making a will, bequeathing all his property to a trust, but some unknown gentleman came forward with a heirship certificate issued by the court with a request to transfer the flat in his name. The case is in the court and the trust, in whose favour a will has been left, has sent us the court order not to proceed with the documentation till further notice. The photo copy of the nomination submitted to the society is missing and it seems the earlier managing committee was hand in glove with the member. The unknown gentleman, who bought heirship certificate, is staying in the flat and using all the amenities. Can we collect maintenance from him and file a complaint against ex-managing committee for the loss of the office copy of nomination form.

 In a case where a person has left a will, a probate is required to be obtained after his death by the beneficiary and in these circumstance, any nomination made by the deceased, stands automatically cancelled. The matter is now in the court about the title to the flat in favour of the trust or the heirship certificate holder and till the final decision, the society should maintain the statusquo and should not transfer the flat and the share certificate in favour of any one.. As regards maintenance charges, the society may move an application in that court to seek instructions for collecting the maintenance charges from the party as may be ordered by the court. For the loss of nomination form from the records of the society, the matter may be brought to the notice of Dy. Registrar for necessary action as he may deem fit.

 

My late father Bapurao Ganpat Bhagat had two wives and a flat at Grant Road. He has two sons from his first wife and three sons from my step mother, out of them two have already expired. My step-mother has a made a registered will in favour of her grandson Ketan Kishore Bhagat. I would like to know whether on becoming an owner by way of nomination has a legal right to transfer the property at her will or is it necessary to consult her step-children.

 A nominee is merely a trustee or an agent on behalf of all the legal heirs of the deceased and the share certificate is transferred by the society in favour of the nominee on the basis of a valid nomination executed by the deceased. But in case other legal heirs raise any dispute against such transfer, society may insist for the succession certificate to transfer the flat and the share certificate. Since your father had made a nomination in favour of your step-mother, she cannot become the sole and exclusive owner because of this nomination and when she is not the owner, she cannot make a will in favour of her grandson and any such will, even if made, shall not be legally valid and enforceable.. In the circumstances of the case, succession certificate/heirship certificate will be required to be obtained from the court to claim the ownership of the flat.

 I booked a flat in Navi-Mumbai in 2010 and the completion date is around 2012. During the booking, builder charged me Rs.1.5 lakh on the ground that parking is compulsory and this amount has been added in the sale consideration without separately mentioning the same as parking charges. The agreement is already registered after paying the stamp duty. The builder has told me that he will give me a separate parking with flat number written on it. Since I will not be staying and after the society is formed, there may be some problem and hence I asked the builder for the refund of that Rs.1.5 lakh. But he has replied that as per the agreement, I have to pay the total amount. I have taken a loan from a Bank and my all original documents are with the bank. I want to know how I can get back my parking charges and whether the service tax has to be paid as builder is charging the same?

 As per latest judgment of the Hon’able Supreme Court of India, a builder is not entitled or empowered to allot or sell the parking slots/space and charge any amount for the same. Any agreement or a letter about the allotment of the parking space will not be binding on the society which will allot the parking slots to the members of the society, as per the bye-laws of the society. As regards the refund of Rs.1.5 lac, paid by you towards the parking charges, you may claim the same from the builder, if you have got satisfactory proof to establish that this amount was charged by the Builder as a matter of compulsion towards the parking but included in the total sale consideration. As per the Order of Hon’ble Bombay High Court, the service tax being collected by the builders will have to be deposited in the court, till the final decision on the applicability of the same.

 I own whole of the first floor in a residential society, which I have beem using as commercial after obtaining NOC from the society. I have taken a shop on (GF) on lease for 3 years. I want to have a separate entrance directly to the first floor by renovating the ceiling. The licensor has agreed for these changes. Whether I need any permission from the society or any other authority?

Firstly in a building of the society, constructed for the purpose of residential purposes, any floor or any portion thereof cannot be used for commercial purposes even with the NOC from the society. Similarly these renovations and connecting the first floor by a separate entrance cannot be undertaken without the prior permission of the society. In both the situation, the approval of the local authority i.e. Municipal Corporation shall also be necessary. If the land of the society is on lease-hold basis, such as the land from the Collector or CIDCO in Navi-Mumbai, the prior permission of the lessor about the change of the user will also be necessary. Hon’ble Bombay High Court has recently held that if any portion in a residential building is used after all the necessary approvals, electricity charges will be payable for such a portion at commercial rates.

 We have built monsoon shade in front of our shops and extended the shops by making a wooden box type structure in the front, which goes beyond the building line but now the society has objected to it and want us to remove the same otherwise they would report the matter to NMMC. My shade and the board is in no way affecting the look or obstructing any movement and when it is in the front of the building. , why the society should have any objection, as they should be more concerned with the interior part of the building.

 The objection of the society is justified and you cannot put up the shade and extend the shop by putting the wooden box type structure without having the prior permission not only from the society but from NMMC, which permits temporary shade only in the rainy season and such extensions cannot be a permanent one.

I stay in a residential building at Bhayander, which consists of 32 flats of 1 BHK and 32 flats of 2 BHK. The builder has provided two water inlets in 2 BHK flats from single pipe connected to the main tank, which is considered as two connections by one BHK flat owners and, therefore, two BHK flat owners are charged higher water charges, though the quantity of the water is the same for all the flats.

 According to model bye law No.69, the water charges are payable on the basis of total number and size of the inlets provided in each flat. It is difficult to assess that the consumption of the water will be the same. Moreover 2 BHK flat owners have the privilege and convenience of two water inlets in comparison to one water inlet in one BHK flats. Therefore, till the said bye-law is on books, two BHK flat owners may have to bear a little higher water charges in comparison to one BHK flat owners.

 In our society a flat was owned jointly by husband and wife. They had nominated their son as a nominee. Unfortunately, wife expired and the husband claims that he, being the co-owner, automatically steps into the shoes of his wife and the nominee can claim only on the death of both. The society has taken a stand that the husband does not become the owner automatically and 50% share of his wife shall go to their son, as the nominee. What is the legal position?

 The stand of the society is justified inasmuch as in case of death of a co-owner, the surviving owner does not become sole and absolute owner of the flat and when there is a nomination, the nominee shall be entitled for the share of the deceased. Therefore, the husband will be the owner of 50% of the share in the flat and the nominee, as a trustee and the agent on behalf of all the legal heirs, for the remaining 50% of the share but the nominee will not become the sole owner of that 50% share. If no other legal heir has been left by the deceased, the husband will be owner of 50% share along with 1/4th share as the legal heir of his wife and the son as the owner of the 1/4Th Share. However, if there is no objection from the husband, Society will transfer 50% share of the deceased in the name of the son, as the nominee.

I have just purchased a commercial premises in a building under SRA project redeveloped by a builder from the free sale quote of the builder. Though the construction has been completed in the year 2005-06, the society has not yet been registered and the building is in the control of the builder, who has not obtained the occupancy certificate, because of the dispute between the promoters and the builders about the non-construction of a 4 storeyed BMC school in the complex, as per the terms and conditions of redevelopment agreement. Since the occupancy certificate has not been issued, we are facing a lot of problems for getting water connection,

license for our business, electricity

charges etc. I want to know whether it

is possible to have a partial OC and if

yes, what is the procedure?

 

Without obtaining the OC, possession cannot be given by the builder and in terms of the development agreement, he has to complete the remaining construction and to obtain the OC to avoid the problems as mentioned. You and other purchasers may proceed against the builder legally for his failure to comply with the terms and conditions of redevelopment agreement. Recently, in such a situation the matter was taken to a consumer court which imposed a penalty of Rs.5 lakhs on the builders for not procuring the OC on time. You may also approach the consumer court against the builders. As regards the partial OC, you may consult the Architect or Engineer to ascertain the circumstances and documents required to obtain the partial OC, if possible.

 A member of our society, affected by the leakage from the top floor flat, filed a complaint in BMC court, against top flat owner, the society and two of its office bearers. Now the members of the top floor owners have carried out the necessary repairs at their cost and the lekage has been plugged. But still the case is pending and dragging in the BMC court. It seems the complainant is resorting to some mischief in delaying the withdrawal of the case. What should be done?

The defendants i.e. top floor flat owners, the society and both the office bearers may move an application in the court with satisfactory evidence to prove that the leakage has been stopped by the members of the top floor flat owners. If the court is convinced it may dispose of the case accordingly or if necessary, it may appoint a commissioner to inspect the premises to report whether the leakage problem has been solved and after considering such a report that cause of complaint has been removed, may dispose of the case..

 Parking slots (stilt and open) are purchased by the members from the builders at their own risk. What will be the consequences after the formation of the society and how these slots will be allotted by the society, as there is a scarcity of parking space in the building complex. What about the people who have purchased the parking slots, will they have to forgo it? The open area marked for garden in the plan has been converted into open parking and that too has been sold. One of the reputed Chartered Accountant, who manages many societies in our area has suggested that since many people have purchased the parking slots in our complex, even if the matter goes to the court, it will be in favour of those people, being in majority.

 It has been clarified through these columns that as per the latest judgment of Hon’able Supreme Court of India, a builder or a developer or a promoter has got no right to sell the parking slots, whether stilt or open parking, and all these parking spaces, ultimately, belong to the society, which after the registration, will have to allot the same as per the bye laws of the society (refer Model Bye-law No.78 to 85). Any such purchase of the parking space by any member in the society shall not be binding on the society. Since this matter has been authoritatively settled by the Apex Court of our country, there is no question of any judgment to the contrary by any subordinate court. The open space approved as ‘garden’ in the sanctioned plan can’t be sold for parking.

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223 crore cover for Kings Circle mandal Organizers Prefer Govt Insurers Over Pvt Cos

223 crore cover for Kings Circle mandal

Organizers Prefer Govt Insurers Over Pvt Cos


    Ganpati mandals say they trust nationalized insurance companies over private players for purchasing festival policies. The business is so competitive that the insurers have a no-poaching agreement with one another.
    Mumbai’s prize account is that of GSB Seva Mandal, Kings Circle, which has insured itself for Rs223 crore this year. “I will not reveal the winning bidder or the premium we pay because we call for tenders and then select the proper bid,” said spokesperson Satish Nayak.
    “We always choose a nationalized firm. Private companies may or may not honour a claim. Settling claims with a private firm depends on the liaison officer you get, but nationalized insurers follow time-honoured regulations,” he added.
    GSB’s policy includes an all-risk cover of Rs20 crore, a similar amount goes towards public liability and Rs182 crore constitutes personal accident cover at Rs10 lakh per head including workers, volunteers and priests.
    Andhericha Raja has an insurance cover of Rs3.7 crore from National Insurance. “We prefer government firms since they have a reputation that comes with being in business for so many decades,” mandal spokesperson Uday Salian said.
    Andhericha Raja’s largest chunk of Rs1.75 crore covers threat by terrorism while Rs75 lakh protects the deity’s ornaments. Another crore insures mandal volunteers while the remaining covers public liability. The Raja’s visarjan procession on the following “Sankashti” is also covered.
    Lalbaugcha Raja has settled on two public insurance companies for separate policies. The first covers immersion processions city-wide. “We have a Rs20 crore policy from United India Assurance to insure all devotees in the city. This covers people who suffer permanent disability during visarjan or die by drowning,” says mandal president Ashok Pawar.
    For itself the m a n d a l h a s sought a Rs51 crore policy from New India Assurance. This spans public liability of Rs30 crore, third-party insurance of Rs10 crore and ornaments for Rs 7.5 c r o r e . L a l – b a u g ch a R a j a ’s property and set is insured for Rs 3.5 crore. PROMINENT MANDALS
    Thanks to the abiding creativity of Mumbai’s idol-makers, the city sees an array of beautiful Ganeshas this time of the year. From the smiling, athletic Ganraj of Lalbaug to the squat, dazzling South Indian Ganesha of GSB, each is regal in form. In the first of a two-part series TOI profiles eight prominent pandals of Ganeshotsav 2013
Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav LOCATION | LALBAUG USP | Now in its 80th year, Lalbaugcha Raja has acquired the status of showstopper in Mumbai’s Ganpati parade. Koli fisherwomen had installed the idol as a thanksgiving present for the local market. Local business booms during Ganeshotsav. Thousands of devotees pay for VIP passes or wait in queue for hours for darshan
Ganesh Gully Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav LOCATION | GANESH GULLY, LALBAUG USP | The original draw of Lalbaug, the 86-year-old mandal has the advantage of spacious grounds to create gigantic replicas of palaces and temples. The striking permanent idol of Lord Shiva in the precinct watches over a beautiful structure of the Somnath temple this season
Keshavji Naik Chawl Ganeshotsav Mandal
LOCATION | GIRGAUM
USP | The city’s first public Ganeshotsav enters its 121st year with a little flourish. Lokmanya Tilak had inspired this celebration in 1893. This year, poet Vinayak Rahatekar, who lives in Keshavji Naik chawl, has written a few verses suggesting the importance of 121 to Indian culture. Decorations are expected to be brighter than usual, says member Vinod Satpute
GSB Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samiti LOCATION | RAM MANDIR, WADALA USP | Another pillar of GSB celebrations in the city, the Wadala mandir is proud of the multiple pujas that accompany Ganeshotsav. “We invite priests who follow scriptural instructions to the letter,” says chairman N N Pal. Eknath Thakur of Saraswat Bank and Karnataka minister R V Deshpande will open celebrations
GSB Seva Mandal LOCATION | KINGS CIRCLE USP | The Goud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) Ganesh Mandal at Kings Circle is believed to be the richest in the city despite its five-day tenure. The South Indian-style idol is seated in a gigantic pandal measuring 90,000 sq ft and bedecked with golden jewellery. GSB has bought insurance cover worth 223 crore this year
Khetwadi 11th Lane Ganeshotsav Samiti
LOCATION | KHETWADI, GIRGAUM
USP |
The mandal is the pride of Khetwadi among several Ganesh pandals that adorn various lanes. This year 11th Lane has brought home a 28-ft tall Ganpati, which it claims is the tallest in the city. The strikingly beautiful idol strikes a pose standing on one foot atop the ‘mooshak’ (mouse) and is housed in a palace setting
Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samiti
LOCATION | VEERA DESAI ROAD, ANDHERI (W)
USP |
More familiar as the Andhericha Raja, the deity is seated in a replica of the Ashtavinayak temple of Ranjangaon. Devotee Sudhakar Pujari from Hong Kong has donated gold jewellery after begetting a son by the Raja’s grace. Andhericha Raja is immersed on the Sankashti that follows Chaturdashi
Tulsiwadi Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal LOCATION | TULSIWADI, TARDEO
USP |
The main street of Tardeo is festooned with posters announcing the platinum anniversary of the Tulsiwadi Ganesh. The tall 25-ft idol is covered with coloured stones in its 75th year. Mandal president N P Yadav says theirs is an apolitical festival

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