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Ownership disputes clog quake compensation Wednesday, March 21, 2001
Whose flat is it anyway? A question that now haunts the government officials who are in-charge of distributing relief doles in the city.
The reason for their perplexity is explained by this instance: Sundervan apartment in Ranip collapsed on January 26. A couple of months later Rajbakshsinh Rajput and Kirtida Patni approached the Ranip nagarpalika with two applications that were identical. Both had applied for house rebuilding compensation for flat number C 107. Each had some supplementary documents to prove that the flat was in fact in their ownership.
The matter was referred to the district collectorate who in turn asked both the parties to get the matter sorted out in civil court.
"Initial investigations have revealed that in this case both the claimants have documents which prove that in one way or other C 107 had been allotted to these persons by the builder. As this matter has legal connotations, the contestants have been asked to resolve the matter in court," said officials of the Ranip nagarpalika.
From the Sundervan flats, the collectorate received yet another application which did not have a cash receipt or details of cheque transactions in lieu of payment to the builder.
"The applicant said that the builder did not supply them with the documents even after taking possession of the house. In yet another case from the Sundervan flats, the son of the builder and his brother in-law both have ownership documents for one flat. Resultantly we have two claimants for one quarter," revealed a source.
Such cases and many more have been screened and withheld by the collectorate. The Shivalik apartments too have a similar dispute between Rohitbhai Patel and Tusharbhai Patel. Officials of the collectorate says that the former has a possession certificate issued by the builder to prove his case. But as this case too has two persons who apparently own the same flat, the relief dole has been "freezed" by the authorities who have asked for directions from the state government.
The Himgiri apartment of Vastrapur too has contributed to the confusion that now dogs the state authorities. According to senior officials, one P D Soni had claimed compensation for a flat that was owned by his son. A special committee after much deliberation at the collectorate ruled that Soni did not stay with the son whose house collapsed and that both shall be considered as "separate units" and have stopped payment of relief dole.
Shrenik Sumanlal Shah owned a flat and his wife Umaben Shah too owned a flat in Akshardeep apartments. When the couple applied for house rebuilding compensation for two flats, the authorities ruled that since they belonged to a family, would be considered as one unit and get relief dole for only one flat.
For Jagdishbhai Shah and his wife, the authorities have said no to compensation. In this case the couple owned two flats - 401 and 303 in Shikhar - in separate names. But they used to reside in a different house elsewhere in the city. They had rented out the houses to one Sheelaben. After the house collapsed during the quake, the couple approached the collectorate for their share of compensation but were turned down. The special committee looking after grievance redressal decided not to give any compensation as neither of the parties had been rendered homeless.