Mumbai News: HC Asks BMC To Complete Development Of Burial Ground At Deonar By Dec 2024

Mumbai News: HC Asks BMC To Complete Development Of Burial Ground At Deonar By Dec 2024

BMC has clarified in the affidavit that it is making an exception of granting 50% advance TDR and shall take over the plot within three months.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Tuesday, July 02, 2024, 01:50 AM IST
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Bombay High Court | PTI

The Bombay High Court has laid down a timeline till December 2024 for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for ensuring that three more burial grounds are made available for the Muslim community in the eastern suburbs.

A bench of Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and  Justice Amit Borkar has directed the BMC to complete development  of Muslim burial ground at Deonar, measuring 2977.54 square metres, by December 2024. The bench has also directed the civic body to complete a feasibility study of a plot of land at Rafiq Nagar (a former dumping ground) within one month. 

During the hearing lat month, the HC had observed the right of a dead person to a decent and respectful last rite is as important as other fundamental rights while rapping the BMC for its callous approach in providing additional burial ground. 

As per the affidavit filed by the BMC Commissioner Bhushan Gagrani, of the total area of 5242.28 sqm, at Deonar, an area 2264.74 square metre is carved out for implementation of slum rehab scheme of the SRA and a notification for the same was issued in March. However, the notification has been challenged before the HC and hence the work related to development of the cemetery got delayed.

Asking the civic body to undertake and complete development of the cemetery in the remaining portion of land, the Hc has asked the BMC to “adequately fence” the plot so that no encroachment takes place. The developer of th SRA scheme too has been asked to fence the area. 

Regarding the plot at Rafiq Nagar,  the HC has asked the health department to check the feasibility of a plot which is 1.5 km away from the present cemetery, within one month.

As far as the third plot of land reserved for burial ground, which is owned by / M/s Oswal Agro Mills Ltd. (Former Union Carbide India Ltd), the court has asked the authorities to complete the procedure to take over land within three months. The state government has completed the negotiations with the Oswal for the plot, which is about 8km away from Govandi’s main population centre in Anik village abutting the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL). The Collector has valued the cost of the land at Rs 159,09,18,904. As per the negotiations, Oswal will be paid 30% of the value as monetary compensation. For the remaining amount, the BMC will compensate in the form of TDR, 50% of which will be paid as advance TDR. The remaining TDR will be granted after the plot is handed over to the corporation. 

BMC has clarified in the affidavit that it is making an exception of granting 50% advance TDR and shall take over the plot within three months. 

“We direct the completion of formalities with Oswal Agro…. We make it clear that Oswal shall be bound by this order like any other party in this matter,” the bench underlined.

The HC heard a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by three Govandi residents, Shamsher Ahmed, Abrar Chaudhari, and Abdul Rehman Shah, seeking additional burial grounds for the eastern suburbs. 

The HC has kept the matter for hearing on July 24. 

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