Apex Court dismisses the civic body’s petition against High Court order for de-reserving the said plot in Mira Road

Bhayandar :  In a major setback to “Theater Lovers”, the Apex Court dismissed the special leave to appeal (22167/ 2013), moved by the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) against the Mumbai High Court order towards de-reserving a plot in Mira Road, which had been reserved for a ‘drama theater’ in the city’s 1997 final development plan. Thanks to MBMC’s colossal delay in acquiring the land, the twin-city is all set to be deprived of its only “drama theater”.

It should be noted that the land situated near Shivar Garden in Mira Road (Survey numbers 262 and 263), owned by Radheshyam Trivedi and others, had been reserved for the construction of the theater. Immediately after the imposition of reservation, the owners of the said property claimed to have officially intimated the MBMC about their assent to build and transfer the proposed theater project on the reserved area in lieu of consent to develop the remaining property. The proposal was sent for a final nod to the State government authorities, which apparently failed to take a decision in this regard till 2008.

On June 26, 2008, the government authorities, citing technical glitches, articulated its incapability to allow a private company to construct the theater and instead directed the MBMC to build the amenity on its own. Since then MBMC failed to take steps to acquire the property for public purpose; its owners, after a lapse of ten years, were served a notice from the civic body. However, the MBMC mysteriously failed to respond, prompting the owners of the land to file a writ petition in the Mumbai High Court, (1988/ 2011) seeking de-reservation of the land under the provisions of the MRTP Act, 1966.

A division bench had accepted the petition and affirmed the lapse in releasing the property from any reservation. When contacted, civic chief, Suresh Kakani, said, “Options are being explored to save the reservation for the drama theatre, which is indeed a necessary amenity for the region. A review petition will be filed in the Apex court.”

The MBMC needs to acquire plots before their reservation lapses in order to keep them reserved as public spaces. After the lapse of a period of ten years, the owner of the plot is free to decide how to use the land as per the provisions under Section 127 of the MRTP Act.

Suresh Golani

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