BPP Connect

This is my third address as BPP Chairman to our community through the ‘BPP Connect’ . On behalf of my Board of Trustees, I would like to update you on the ongoings of the past month. I’m thankful to Parsi Times for extending this platform free of cost.

With a heavy heart I inform the community that allotment of houses to the poor and deserving has received a set back because 2 Trustees, Viraf Mehta and Armaity Tirandaz have chosen not to sign any more Leave & License Agreements and have written to the Registrar of Assurances at the various registration offices in Mumbai “to refrain and restrain from taking any steps towards execution and registration of any agreement of Tenancy, Leave License or Conveyance of any property of the Trust”. They want Munchi Cama’s name to be included in the L&L Agreements. Cama’s Resignation Case is before the Charity Commissioner, who alone will decide Munchi Cama’s fate as a Trustee. How or why Viraf and Armaity have chosen to overrule this authority and concluded that Munchi Cama continues to be a Trustee, is beyond me. Cama has not attended a single hearing in his own case nor attended any BPP Board meeting since 12th May 2015.

In my opinion, this conduct is a cruel joke on our community. I humbly request and urge my team members, Viraf and Armaity, not to hold the community to ransom by pandering to the wishes of persons outside the BPP who have vested interests and want to hurt the BPP, so as to show the new Trustees in a poor light. On my part, I will do my best to ensure that the BPP continues to fulfill our beneficiaries’ need for housing without further interruption.

Union Settlement:
Finally the Wage agreement between the BPP and Class IV employees has been signed and sealed. The highlights of this agreement include extra considerations given to Khandhias and Nassesalars and emphasis will be placed on retirement benefits like gratuity.

Clearing Cobwebs:
We have taken special initiative to undo the mistakes of the past. Over a decade ago, Everest Builders claimed that they owned a piece of land in the middle of Panthaki Baug, Andheri. In 2012, the BPP Board was persuaded by one Trustee to make an application to the Charity Commissioner for permission to exchange this landlocked plot with a similar sized plot in one corner of Panthaki Baug, abutting an access road. The rationale for this exchange was that having a plot belonging to someone else in the middle of Panthaki Baug would fragment the Baug, and there could be a Non-Parsi development in the middle of a Parsi Colony in future. To avoid this, the Trustees were advised to exchange a similar size plot of Panthaki Baug, which was abutting the main road with this landlocked plot in the middle of Panthaki Baug. Fortunately, this application was stalled mainly due to objections by certain public spirited community members like Homee Dalal. As part of my Board’s commitment to reduce litigation, this application was thoroughly reviewed bringing to light serious irregularities and other similar information crept in – the PR card in respect of Everest Property does not reflect the name of the owner; the exact boundary of the landlocked plot was disputed; a nullah, which ran through the plot, was owned by the State and no development is allowed over it as per the Municipal rules; also, a landlocked plot could not be developed if the access is less than 1.5 mtrs wide as per the Development rules. Therefore this application to exchange this ‘useless’ landlocked plot with a prime plot abutting the main road was definitely not beneficial for the community. Therefore the new Board decided to withdraw the Exchange Application filed with the CC. Everest Builders threatened to physically build a wall around their alleged plot. So, on 15th August 2016, my colleague Trustee Kersi Randeria and I went to Panthaki Baug, interacted with residents, informing them of the exchange of plots issue. We immediately arranged extra security for guarding the property and also roped in residents as volunteers to report any activity in the area. Thanks to Homee Dalal for saving our community’s property.

A few facts which Armaity Tirandaz’s Clarification failed to bring up.

In PT’s last issue, I had shared with the community that that my Trustees, Armaity and Viraf, have effectively stopped allotment of houses by not signing on Agreements and by writing to the Registrar not to register documents. To this, Armaity issued a ‘clarification’ on social media – Facebook and WhatsApp – accusing me of lying to the community. In her clarification, Armaity says that when she and Viraf received a copy of Munchi Cama’s letter to the Registrar to stop registrations, she and Viraf pleaded with the Board to get a legal opinion and since we (Trustees Kersi, Noshir and Zarir and myself) did not agree, they had no option but to stop signing agreements and wrote to the Registrar to stop registrations, till an opinion was obtained by them. This is a complete lie because Armaity and Viraf sent a letter to the REGISTRAR, SIMILAR TO THE ONE SENT BY MUNCHI TO THE Registrar, on the SAME DAY AS MUNCHI CAMA DID, which was Monday 25th July 2016. But, our BPP Board meetings are held on Tuesdays and therefore there was no question of any discussion taking place. They had already written to the Registrar before any Board Meeting! Armaity and Viraf did not inform the Board of their writing to the Registrar. They did not even send a copy to the Board. They did it secretly. It was only when our Vada Dasturji Khurshed Kotwal was taken for his registration on 12th August 2016, that the other Trustees came to know that Viraf and Armaity had written to the Registrar! Armaity has also mentioned in her ‘clarification’ that I had taken more than 2 dozen adjournment dates in Munchi Cama’s Resignation Case, thereby delaying the proceedings. The fact is that Armaity has not attended a single hearing of Munchi Cama’s Change Report at the Charity Commissioner’s, which has been going on since June 2015! Yet, she authoritatively says in her ‘clarification’ that I have taken adjournment dates on more than 2 dozen occasions! I’ve taken ONLY ONE ADJOURNMENT DATE as I was attending another Court Case at Vadgaon on June 8th, 2015. It’s utterly disappointing and sad to see Armaity resort to such blatant lies. Armaity further stated that I have not provided any precedence or legal validation regarding our contention that the Board can function with only 6 trustees. Here is the precedence – it happened when Silloo Kavarana expired on 17th October, 2005 and the BPP functioned for 3 long years with only 6 trustees till 23rd October, 2008.  

Gamadia Colony - Before
Gamadia Colony – Before

Gamadia Colony, Tardeo:
The far end of Gamadia Colony is bound by a hill atop which overlooking the Colony are hutments without sewage or garbage collection facility by the BMC for the residents. The garbage and sewage water flowed down the hill into Gamadia Colony’s Buildings 15 and 16. Complaints to the BMC would result in cleanups of the area but within a few days, it would be back to square one. A permanent solution was needed. With BPP supporting the the efforts of Gamadia Colony resident Khorshed Meherjee, MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha was approached and a permanent solution has been worked on with a thorough clean-up of the hill, new sewage lines, new tiles and concretization of the ground behind the Buildings. In a few days, the project will be complete. Thanks to Khorshed Meherjee, Minoo Khan, BJP activist and Neville Broacha, President BJP South Mumbai Parsi Cell for contributing towards Gamadia Colony’s clean and healthy environment.

Gamadia Colony - After
Gamadia Colony – After

Poverty Amelioration:
The BPP provides monthly financial support to disadvantaged Parsis, mainly senior citizens with no source of income. The monthly doles range from Rs.1200 to Rs.3000, based on individual cases. BPP supports 600 community members in Mumbai and India resulting in a yearly outflow of Rs. 1,18,82,800. On Navroze and at Jamshedi Navroze, the BPP gives an extra Rs.500 as a small token of Navroze

Recovering Locked / Unused / Under-used Flats:
The Custodians of Colonies and Baugs regularly submit to the BPP Office a list of flats lying locked, unused or used sparingly. My Board has taken into account these flats and their occupants are being contacted and persuaded to surrender the flats back to the Punchayet. It is the Board’s request to all families who have more than one home, to please surrender the additional flat(s), so that we can allot these to those in desperate need of housing.

Protecting Old, Lonely Tenants:
A number of our senior tenants in our community, who have no regular source of income or caretakers, become vulnerable targets to those with vested interests who, under the guise of caretakers, induct themselves in their flats and usurp their tenancy. To resolve this, the BPP provides monthly financial support of Rs.15,000; unlimited medical expenses; and waiving of building repairs contribution, rent and service charges. In return, they agree, post demise, upon reverting the flats back to the BPP to give away to others in need of housing.

Strengthening The Organisation:
In keeping with our commitment to generate a professional culture and management in the running of the BPP, the Board will bring in India’s leading audit firm, Deloitte, as Internal Auditors to identify and control shortcomings; suggest
measures to mitigate risks; and make accounts more of a management tool than just a tax / regulatory

Digital BPP:
The major difference between my Board and the previous Board is that my colleagues do not measure their achievements on the basis of 100% attendance (and 0% performance), but strive to bring about a level change in the working of the BPP. Noshir Dadrawalla has taken the initiative to digitize BPP with the help of Yezdi Tantra (On-Lyne Computer Systems), to take BPP to the next level of competence. This will entail re-vamping the BPP website and majorly boosting clarity through technology by including features like Live-streaming events; availability of Financials and BPP Reviews; information regarding Blood Bank, Matrimony, Other Trusts handled by BPP; Careers/Jobs; Donations; HPY; Resources; Forms; Rules. Complete transparency in Housing Allotments, Scholarships, Redresals/Grievances; Voters List; Voluntary Service Programs; Digital Registry for Births and Deaths; SMS Alerts; Competitions,

Zoroastrian Athletic Camp:
Just as I was concluding this piece for the Parsi Times, I received a phone call from Dara Doomasia (Rustom Baug) that in the Bombay City District Amateur Athletic Meet, 3 of our BPP athletes have won 4 Gold Medals! Heartiest Congratulations to them! BPP runs an Athletic Camp where Dara Doomasia and a few others coach and train our Parsi ‘bachhas’ – who have excelled in various fields of

In ending I sincerely hope that each of my Co-Trustees will act solely in the best interest of the BPP and our beloved Parsi Community, without exception.

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