The Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) informed the Bombay High Court yesterday that it has revised the definition of a 'poor Parsi' as one who earns upto Rs 90,000 per month in order to become eligible for accommodation in a subsidised housing scheme of the community.
There are about 5000 houses which are given on rent to the members of the Parsi community estimated to be around 45,000 in the city.
Earlier, the income limit for a poor Parsi was Rs 50,000 but it was raised to Rs 90,000 after BPP decided to sell some flats in suburban Andheri at subsidised rates to members of the community.
The court was hearing a petition filed by 65-year-old Rohinton Taraporewala, a resident of Dahanu in Thane district, challenging BPP's decision to reject his claim for allotment of a flat in Panthaki Baug in Andheri, North-west Mumbai.
Taraporewala had submitted names to show that some from the community were allotted flats in Panthaki Baug despite their income exceeding Rs 50,000 per month.
BPP Chairman Dinshaw Mehta disputed Taraporewala's claim that he was a "poor and needy" Parsi. He said in keeping with the High Court's directive to sell some flats in the colony on ownership basis, the BPP trustees had formulated a criteria for allotment of houses.
It was decided that preference would be given to those who wanted to settle down in Mumbai after marriage. Also, BPP decided not to allot houses to Parsis who had income above Rs 90,000 or with assets worth more than Rs 25 lakh, Mehta said.
Besides, those living outside Mumbai were to be given less priority than those already staying in the city.
According to BPP, Taraporewala owned a 17-acre farm in Vangaon, Dahanu, with a two-storeyed bungalow spread over 2000 square feet. The property was worth between Rs 1.5 and Rs 3 crore. Moreover, Taraporewala's tax returns showed income above Rs 90,000 per month and other assets and fixed deposits to the tune of Rs 25 lakhs.
The BPP Chairman contended that Taraporewala had submitted that he was not keeping well and was suffering from heart ailment and diabetes because of which he wanted to settle down in Mumbai. He had cited lack of proper medical facilities in Dahanu.
Flats in Panthaki Baug in Andheri measure about 750 square feet and each of them cost Rs 80 lakh. The BPP plans to sell some of these to members of the community at one-fourth the market rate.