The Bombay High Court has stayed construction on a humongous plot of land at Ambedkar Road in Khar West. A part of this 6,000 sq mt-plot was given the recreational ground (RG) / playground (PG) status under the Revised Development Plan of 1992.
The HC order was passed on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by three residents of Khar – Dileep Saptarshi, Robert Wesinger and Sunil – seeking preservation, fencing, demarcation and development of the portion of land.
Alleging that portions of the RG area are being “chipped away” by the authorities, their plea seeks that it be developed as a playground for residents. Excavation work on the adjoining plot has been in progress since August.
In its order, the court said no construction can be carried out on the plot and restrained any further construction without its permission. In April 1995, the Supreme Court had stayed construction on the same plot since it was reserved as RG.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice MS Karnik observed that “despite the order of the Supreme Court restraining construction on an area of 6,000 sq mt, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (respondent No. 5) has permitted construction by Integrated Realty Projects”.
Representing the petitioners, senior advocate Gayatri Singh and advocate Ronita Bhattacharya submitted photographs showing the status of construction as on date, which was taken on record.
Meanwhile, additional government pleader Uma Palsuledesai submitted a survey report stating that the plot of land does not belong to the government as it had been handed over to the BMC. The HC has also taken this report on record.
The bench has asked the petitioners to add the developer as respondent to the PIL and directed all the respondents to file their reply affidavits. The PIL contended that in 2012, the reserved area was reduced from 6,000 sq mt to 4,802 sq mt.
The PIL further states that the plot has neither been demarcated or fenced, nor has it been developed as RG despite SC orders 26 years ago. The HC has kept the PIL for further hearing on January 10, 2022.
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