Rendered homeless after their relatively new building began crumbling, many residents of the now-demolished Gaurav Enclave Cooperative Housing Society in Mira Road East have been staying in temporary accommodation, waiting for the redevelopment to reach completion so they can shift into their new homes. In the meantime, the developer has allegedly stopped compensating them for transit accommodation, so they have to shell out EMIs as well as rent.Gaurav Enclave shot to infamy in 2013 after it developed cracks within 15 years of its construction. Nearly 233 residents of the building had to move out of their homes so it could be razed and redeveloped. Now, the builder who had originally raised the building, Ravi Group, is carrying out its redevelopment.The residents allege that exorbitant rents have forced them out of the metropolitan’s limits, to places like Vapi, which is in Gujarat. This has drastically affected their lives and livelihoods.Krishna Malani, a building resident who expected to have a new home after redevelopment, is one of them. “I stay in Vapi now. I don’t have a home. It’s been five years that we vacated the building and we are still waiting to return,” he said, adding that the developer has stopped paying him rent.D Gala, another tenant, claimed that while signing the redevelopment agreement, they were promised monthly recompense (rent) till the building came up.The builder had committed to delivering the project in three years’ time.”In case of a delay in the project, he was to pay us rent with a 10 per cent yearly increment. In spite of this agreement, the builder didn’t pay us rent on time. And now, he has stopped paying us rent altogether. It’s been almost five years since we moved out and the construction isn’t anywhere near completion,” Gala said.Some tenants have been ‘lucky’ to find alternate accommodation in Mira Road itself. “I vacated the building long back. I have found a home on rent in this suburb. But I am waiting to return to my house which I had purchased in 1997,” said Thomas, another resident.Another tenant who didn’t wish to be identified is looking forward to returning to his shop in the building. He said, “People are paying EMIs for their homes and also paying rent to stay for their current lodging. It is really a difficult time for all of us. We vacated the building in July 2013. For the last two years we have not received payments towards rent from the builder. The construction is taking place but at a snail’s pace.”Repeated attempts to contact Ketan Shah of Ravi Group were in vain. He didn’t reply to our messages, nor receive our calls.Tomorrow, we will take a look at the lives of people who left their old dilapidated buildings in the hope of returning to a new one. But they are biding their time till the construction comes up.
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